Here at Unbox Love, we are dedicated to helping couples create remarkable, lasting, passionate love.
It's hard for us to hear about customers who cancel their subscriptions because of a breakup or divorce. And that's not because we are losing them as a customer (though we're always sad to see people go). It's because we really are committed to doing whatever we can to help people love being in love.
Unfortunately, the stark reality is that the divorce rate for first marriages hovers around 40%-50%... and that doesn't even account for people who stay together and aren't really happy.
But we know this doesn't have to be reality. We know we can do better! And we invite you to join us in our crusade to strengthen marriages everywhere... starting with yours.
The Biggest Threat to Marriage
A recent national survey found that the most common reasons given for divorce are:
- Lack of commitment (73% said this was a major reason).
- Too much arguing (56%)
- Infidelity (55%)
- Marrying too young (46%)
- Unrealistic expectations (45%)
- Lack of equality in the relationship (44%)
- Lack of preparation for marriage (41%)
- Abuse (29%).
(People often give more than one reason, so the percentages add up to more than 100%.)
Although these reasons can all be valid grounds for ending a relationship, we believe they are not telling the whole story. There is a piece of the puzzle missing.
Researcher, Dr. John Gottman has the answer.
Dr. Gottman is most famous for being able to predict with a 94% accuracy whether or not a couple will get divorced by watching them argue for 3 minutes.
Here's how he does it:
Dr. Gottman learned that HOW a couple fights (not WHAT they fight about) is the loudest indicator of whether or not they will stay together.
In other words, the source of your conflict (whether it's infidelity, lack of commitment, feeling neglected, or even how to hang the toilet paper) is not nearly as important as HOW you deal with the conflict.
The Best Way To Approach Conflict
Just because the way you deal with conflict is a blatant indicator of whether or not your relationship will be successful doesn't mean you need to shy away from it.
If you deal with conflict the right way, it can actually bring you closer together!
Even more importantly, you can change the way you deal with conflict. It's not engrained in your DNA. It's a learned skill.
So, let's get to the chase, what's the most important thing you can learn right now about conflict?
It's all about the start-up.
The strongest indicator of a couple that a couple will not be successful (reach a peaceful resolution) in conflict is how they start up the conversation.
Dr. Gottman teaches that there are 2 ways to start an argument... there's the Soft Start-Up and the Harsh Start-Up. (Guess which one is worse.)
The Soft Start-Up
Couples who use a Soft Start-Up are a bajillion times more likely to find a resolution to their conflict. They use things like humor, manners, appreciation, and specific, non-blaming complaints to engage each other.
The Harsh Start-Up
Couples who use a Harsh Start-Up method are typically always going nowhere fast. A Harsh Start-Up will almost always trigger the fight-or-flight mechanism in both partners. The brains ability to have a logical, reasonable discussion goes down the toilet.
Rather than finding a peaceful resolution to the issue at hand, each partner spends their energy attacking and defending themselves until either one person gets exhausted and gives up, or worse, is emotionally, mentally, or physically wounded to the point that they cannot continue.
The folks over at the #StayMarried blog have created this awesome graphic that shows some of the attributes of Harsh Start-Ups vs. Soft Start-Ups.
Take a look and see which you are more prone to!
There's More To It Than That
Obviously there's more to having successful conflict than just knowing how your Start-Up effects the outcome.
Don't worry! We'll be coming back to you with more information about how to create a Soft Start-Up, and then how to handle the rest of a conflict conversation in the coming weeks.
If you can master the art of conflict, you will experience the kind of relationship most people only dream of.
Please don't take this lightly. Develop the skills. And more importantly, share them with others! Their love depends on it.
If you haven't signed up for Unbox Love now's your chance! Get awesome, curated dates delivered to your door for you and your lover for less than the cost of dinner and a movie: