What Makes Love Last?

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What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal

By Emeritus Professor John M Gottman & Nan Silver
Hardback, 282pages
Publication date: 4 September 2012

In this insightful book, celebrated research psychologist and couples counselor John Gottman plumbs the mysteries of love and shares the results of his famous "Love Lab" Where does love come from? Why does some love last, and why does some fade? And how can we keep it alive? Based on laboratory findings, this book shows readers how to identify signs, behaviors, and attitudes that indicate a fraying relationship and provides strategies for repairing what may seem lost or broken.


“In an easy-to-understand format full of anecdotes, imaginary dialogues, and analogies to game theory, Gottman explains lack of trust in a relationship … The practical tools to evaluate current relationships and step-by-step methods for avoiding betrayal, repairing relationships heading toward crisis, or healing a relationship after a crisis will be useful to couples who want to look honestly at healing chronic hurts and improving the state of their relationship, and are ready for a system to help them.”—Publishers Weekly

"Instructional and enlightening..."—Kirkus Reviews

Customer Reviews

5-out-of-5 stars Gottman does it again - exceptional research, practical advice! By Dr. Kathy Nickerson

"As a relationship expert myself, I am constantly reading books about healing from affairs, repairing marriage, and regaining trust in a damaged relationship. Dr. Gottman is truly a psychologist's psychologist; he has been researching couples and relationships for almost 40 years and every single one of his books contains practical advice. This book is no different and what really makes it stand out from all of the other relationship books on the market is that it is based on research, not hunches or guesses.

In this book, Gottman discusses the impact of betrayal on a relationship and how repeated betrayal erodes the foundation of a marriage. He describes how partners who have lost trust in each other frequently end up in very negative cycles of continued arguments. Gottman goes on to give readers many practical tools and tips, including how to measure your current trust level, how to analyze your contribution to an argument, how to rebuild trust, and much more.

Quite simply, if you or someone you know is working to repair their marriage after an affair or trust injury, there's no better book on the market. I couldn't recommend it more highly."

Kathy Nickerson, PhD

5-out-of-5 stars Most meaningful research based Relationship Advice I've ever read by Leo Ostapivon October

"While writing mine HOME FINANCES for COUPLES. Resolve Money Problems in Marriage and Learn Easy Steps to Manage your Family Budget I've read several relationship books, this one is in TOP 3. Here is my review:

Loving partnership gives us wonderful gifts that make life worth living: a sense of purpose, greater health and wealth, and, of course, loving care and nurturance. We all desire to have it. But, how to make it last for decades? "What Makes Love Last" is very different from any other relationship book I've read before. Dr. Gootman knows his subject in depth.

- Conclusions and recommendations are based on the objective data from scientific studies
- Number of useful assessment metrics and tests (measure trust metric, accessing sex and romance, "is this a real thing" quiz, etc)
- A perfect balance between sientific and general writing style.
- Lots of valuable advice (I took about 3 pages of notes)

- The Zeigarnik effect about unresolved issues (people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks)
- Negative comparisons lead to betrayal
- Relationship killers are founded on two building blocks: deception (not revealing your true needs to avoid unpleasent conflict) and a yearning for emotional connection thats seems unavailable from the partner
- Attunement : ability to understand each other at a deep level and lovingly express that knowledge to each other
- Not to give advice unless asked. Just being there and listening is an enormous contribution
- Turn to each other during sliding door moments. Do not move onto negotiating a compromise until you can say to each other Yes you got it. That is exactly my position and what I am feeling.
- Stick to "I feel" "I need" statements instead of "You don't...", "You should"
- When partners are upset, their negative emitions line up like dominos. What else are you feeling ? Is there more you want to say?
- Listener: pause and breathe, write down what your partners says and any defensiveness you are feeling, remember your love and respect (in this relationship we do not ignore one another plans, I have to understand this hurt)
- The sexually active partners had a closer friendship and were commited to making sex a priority.
- Most women want sex sex when they already feel emotionally close, but for men sex is a way of becoming emotionally close.

-Five dimensions of interview to predict risk of divorce:
* Positive vs negative past memories
* I vs WE statements
* Still remember love map detais of memorable moments and partner's inner world
* Telling how they struggle and overcome difficulties instead of chaos description
* Feeling of satisfaction with the relationship vs disappoitment

- When a man realizes how critical it is that he make his wife feel secure, their relationship reaps enormous benefits.
- Description of trust game (Individual who risk trusting others benefit more than those who are suspicious)
- Enduring love comes when we love most of what we learn about the other person and can tolerate the faults they cannot change

- Beside sex chapter the book has too brief advice on "How to improve it" after the measurement was take.
- It's age resistant relationship advice, but still it would be good to mention some modern family challenges (Dual income household, impact of Facebook and mobile...)
- Money and household economics is often an issue, the book has no mentions of money problems and dealing with them

The book provides unique relationship assessment tools and illuminates what it takes to create a relationship that is mutually satisfying and adds profound meaning to your life."

Leo Ostapiv