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What Predicts Divorce and How to Divorce Proof Your Marriage

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Principle 4: Let Your Partner Influence You    Gottman found that men who allow their wives to influence them have happier marriages, and are less likely to divorce than men who resist their wives' influence.    Statistically speaking, when a man is not willing to share power with his partner, there is an 81% chance that the marriage will self-destruct.    Wives generally tend to let their husbands influence their decision-making, even in unstable marriages.    The research found that the happiest, most stable marriages were those where the husband treated the wife with respect and did not resist power sharing and decision making with her.    In analysing the data Gottman found significant gender differences when an area of conflict was discussed.  Although the wives would sometimes express anger or other negative emotions towards their husbands, they rarely responded to their husbands by increasing the negativity.    But 65% of the males respondents escalated their wives' negativity.  They did this in a very specific way by trotting out one of the four horsemen (criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling).    If the wife of one of these men said "You're not listening to me!" the husband would either ignore her (stone wall), be defensive ("Yes, I am!"), or be contemptuous ("Why waste my time?").    Uning one of the four horsemen to escalate a conflict is a sign that a man is resisting a wife's influence.    More than 80% of the time it's the wife who brings up marital issues, while the husband tries to avoid discussing them.  This is true in happy marriages as well as unhappy.

Summary: LISTEN. 

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