Monday, April 5, 2010


Happy Day After Easter, everyone!

We had a wonderful weekend hanging out at my parents' home, and then celebrated the big festivities on Sunday at my sister's house with all of my family and extended family. These get-togethers are super fun because all of my cousins and sisters (notice I wasn't added in this sentence... hmmm. Maybe sometime soon though...) are in baby-making stages of life so there are tons of little ones EVERYWHERE at these things. It's adorable. And fun. And chaotic.

Even though it's Spring Break (#2 for me! One for UNC and another for District 6 schools!), my brain still feels a little fried. I think it's still in recovery stages from my busy previous week in addition to the weekend. All that to say, I have no original thoughts to post on here today. So instead, I wanted to mention something that has been brewing in my mind for the last 2 months or so. I saw this on one of my favorite news programs (CBS Sunday Morning News) on Valentines Day and figured that now is as good a time as any to post it considering I'm a full 60+ days late on this.

There is this man named John Gottman; he's a smarty-pants psychology professor and marriage researcher. He knows relationships. He's an author. I like him. He found the key to successful marriages and that it can even be expressed mathematically. The key WASN'T not fighting. It wasn't always having peace, keeping hurts from each other, or the absence of conflict. Those happen. They have to happen for it to be a healthy marriage.

Gottman's key to a healthy relationship is the 5:1 ratio: There need to be FIVE positive interactions for every ONE negative interaction.

What's a negative interaction? It can be anything from criticisms to picking fights to getting defensive to withdrawing. It can be rolling your eyes or shutting down and not talking. Anything that doesn't give life to your relationship.

Positive interactions? A squeeze on the shoulder. Laughing at a joke. Giving a compliment on how they look that day. Saying thank you for a chore they did. Anything that shows appreciation for the other.

It's not that there can't be negative interactions- rough patches, complaints, fights- those are inevitable when you share life with someone. It's just that for you to have a healthy, stable, vibrant relationship there needs to be 5 more good ones.

I think that appreciation is key. These last 5 years with my hubby has developed an appreciation for him more than anything I could have dreamed of. I'm so thankful that I get to share life with him; he's pretty great.

Gottman might be onto something: a key factor to the success of marriages is the 5:1 ratio. It sounds right to me, it sounds beautiful and life-giving to me. And I figure, it can't hurt anything, so why not be super focused and aware of trying to have more positives than negatives?

And just because I'm feeling like it, here's a picture of me and my boy moments after we got engaged in September 2004. L took me on a hike up to this beautiful summit overlooking Fort Collins and surprised me with wine and cheese waiting at the top right at sunset. Amazing, amazing! I'd say that was a pretty positive interaction.


  1. I like the 5:1 thing. that makes a lot of sense. Although I imagine that the prospect of tracking such a thing - or even attempting to - could be kind of crazy.

    In other thoughts - I finished reading The Power of Half last night. Have you read the book yet? I know you wrote about them recently...if you're interested, I'd be happy to pass it on to you.

  2. also, you guys are pretty cute. well done, L. :)