The Destructive Power of Criticism
John Gottman is THE MAN. He is a marriage expert, therapist, lecturer, and the author of a life-changing book called "The Seven Keys to Making Marriage Work." As far as I know, he is not a Christ-follower. But if all truth is God's truth, I think that God has used him as a messenger of some truly foundational principles for marriage. Check out his credentials (stolen from his website):
"Dr. Gottman was the co-founder of the Gottman Institute™ with his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman. He is executive director of the nonprofit Relationship Research Institute, currently evaluating interventions for the transition to parenthood. Dr. Gottman is an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington and founded what the media termed, "The Love Lab", where much of his research on couples' interactions was conducted."
How about that? He's got a "love lab." And while it sounds funny, it's actually something of an apartment that he observes couples in so that he can analyze their relationships. The wild thing is that he has been able to successfully identify the key predictors of divorce...with about a 93% success rate. That means that he can observe a couple for a bit and, in more than 9 out of 10 cases, correctly determine whether the marriage will survive or not. Like I said, John Gottman is THE MAN.
I saw a post today by Jimmy Evans of Marriage Today. In it, he referenced Gottman's work on the subject of criticism in marriage. I am intrigued by Gottman's research and I am challenged by Evans' observations. If you ever find yourself taking on a critical attitude with your spouse, it might be worth reading. So here ya go...
Read Cut the Criticism.