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  1. #1
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    Post On Love and Relationships

    This is a thread to talk about love and relationships, in particular, different psychological research and theories concerning love and relationships. This thread is inspired by John Gottman's research on what makes marriage work and predictors of divorce, so I'll start with that. I have always been interested in the secrets behind long-term successful marriages. I am not married (and have yet to be in a serious relationship), but my parents have been married for 29 years. Their relationship has been tumultuous and extremely rocky at times, yet they have maintained a strong bond through some really rough waters. I have been there with my friends and family through their many relationships and I have had a few stops and starts of my own.

    In another thread, KarenParker brought up John Gottman's book "The 7 Principles of Making Marriage Work". It just so happened that I was on an advice website today, and someone was recommending his other book, "What Predicts Divorce".

    His article on the seven principles is here.

    The four predictors of divorce are here ,and an interview with him can be found here.

    They are:

    Complain/Criticize, Contempt, Defensiveness, Stonewalling

    That's some good background info and I don't want my first post to be too long, so if anyone has anything to say that would be great, or else I'll just give some of my thoughts and impressions later.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    On the predictors of divorce i got 5 of 6 .. Do i get a prize for that other than divorce papers.

    Serious note though .. Marriage never entered my mind growing up (possibly due to my parents divorcing when i was 5), i didn't have an ideal dress that i would wear, but when marriage was mentioned, i was over the moon. Someone actually wants to spend a lifetime with me. I longed for the fairy tale then. We wouldn't become a statistic. Sadly, reality is that sometimes you don't get a happy ever after, because it wasn't meant to be although best intentions were there.
    I have spoken to people where an affair had taken place and people can make it work but thats because they both want to.
    I am not a quitter and i asked if we could get outside help to try and help us with our problems, unfortunately he didn't want to. So be it.

    I have a very negative view now towards marriage but only due to how it ended. It hurt like hell and i never want that feeling back.
    I don't think i would do it again, but never say never.

    EDIT - Don't regret a moment of it, would change how i behaved though.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  3. #3
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    Saslou, I can't say I know what it's like to be hurt so bad I couldn't go back, but I've never been married. Right now my ESFJ brother seems to be going headlong into an ill-advised marriage with another ESFJ. Between the two of them there is a lot of complaining, criticizing, and defensiveness. Two very passionate and opinionated people. I don't know what to do anymore to help. I'm afraid that if my brother gets married and it ends badly, he would definitely react like you and not want to get married again. He's not ever really been interested in marriage until now, so a bad one could be enough to put him off forever.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinspring View Post
    Saslou, I can't say I know what it's like to be hurt so bad I couldn't go back, but I've never been married. Right now my ESFJ brother seems to be going headlong into an ill-advised marriage with another ESFJ. Between the two of them there is a lot of complaining, criticizing, and defensiveness. Two very passionate and opinionated people. I don't know what to do anymore to help. I'm afraid that if my brother gets married and it ends badly, he would definitely react like you and not want to get married again. He's not ever really been interested in marriage until now, so a bad one could be enough to put him off forever.
    Oh bless. You can't say anything, well you can, but it will not matter in the slightest. He knows what he is doing, even if he knows it wrong. Like someone said on the thread i made about ESFJ's .. Irrationally loyal. Its easier to bury your head in the sand and claim ignorance. If you truly believe its going to turn out bad, just be there for him when the chips fall. He will probably fall hard.
    I know i've said i would never marry again, but i also said in the past i would never get divorced. Lol.
    We can make statements in sad times about this, that and the other. I have no idea what lies ahead. An ideal illusion was taken from me so of course i will be weary about any future relationships, nevermind marriage again. I am also a traditionist. I am my own worst enermy.

    Maybe it will put him off, maybe it won't .. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  5. #5
    Senior Member KarenParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    I know i've said i would never marry again, but i also said in the past i would never get divorced.
    The same thing happened to me. It really messes with you psychologically. But I'd do it all over again. That's life. You wouldn't be living your life if you didn't take risks like getting married when there are no guarantees it will last forever. I just wish that our society would clear up the misconception that everyone can have a marriage that lasts forever if they just "work on it." Nobody followed that belief more strictly than my ex-husband and me and it STILL didn't last. Sometimes things happen. For us, we were not a good match (ESFP/INTJ) and he fell out of love with me. Then a year later I fell out of love with him. No amount of "working on it" could change the fact that we never understood each other and could not get our emotional and intellectual needs met by each other because of our personalities. That's not to say ESFP/INTJ couples can never work. It's just rare. So it was either stay in a loveless, unhappy marriage forever (which I'm sure many people do) or move on, go live my life and take the social stigma that comes with it.
    E - 79% I - 21%
    S - 53% N - 47%
    T - 32% F - 68%
    J - 32% P - 68%

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenParker View Post
    The same thing happened to me. It really messes with you psychologically. But I'd do it all over again. That's life. You wouldn't be living your life if you didn't take risks like getting married when there are no guarantees it will last forever. I just wish that our society would clear up the misconception that everyone can have a marriage that lasts forever if they just "work on it." Nobody followed that belief more strictly than my ex-husband and me and it STILL didn't last. Sometimes things happen. For us, we were not a good match (ESFP/INTJ) and he fell out of love with me. Then a year later I fell out of love with him. No amount of "working on it" could change the fact that we never understood each other and could not get our emotional and intellectual needs met by each other because of our personalities. That's not to say ESFP/INTJ couples can never work. It's just rare. So it was either stay in a loveless, unhappy marriage forever (which I'm sure many people do) or move on, go live my life and take the social stigma that comes with it.

    Oh that stigma .. Lol. Everyone deals with it differently and moves on.
    For me, there was a lot of unhappy moments and im sure for him too. The love was there though. Talking to him the other night, the one good thing that comes from all this is that it has been such a humbling experience for us both. We have both learn't so much but it had to come at a price and thats ok.

    I am not going to talk anymore about it. Its in the past now. You and me Karen have new adventures ahead of us .. with hopefully a little bit of love thrown in for good measure.

    We'll do just fine.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  7. #7
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    So how do you find love again? I've never been married but I have loved (an INTJ, natch), and while I won't say it ended badly, it didn't end well as I was left for someone else.

    I was looking through some old Socionics papers of mine and I found something I had printed out on attracting the kinds of people who will like you for your strengths. Socionics is an intertype relations theory that claims to have discovered the secret to which type will be attracted to which other type and why. Of course, culture, physical attraction, chemistry, background, interests, age, character and all those other things are going to come into play, but Socionics teaches that your best matches are going to respond to your personality because you have strengths that complement their weaknesses in a positive way, and vice versa.

    Ultimately, it's about attracting people who automatically need you to be the way you are.

    For me, that's a valuable concept even without the theory. And I don't think it's easy, especially for Feelers and women. We're used to adapting ourselves to what we think the other person wants us to be, or adapting ourselves to fit the moods of other people. We stress the values we have in common with others, even if they're not the ones we really feel strongest about. I know I often show the side of myself that's most compatible with what makes the other person feel comfortable and accepted. But in so doing, am I denying myself the chance to shine as I am? Are we aware of when and how we shine? When we're making a good impression just by being who we are? Because that is the face that's going to attract people (friends and lovers) who are going to value us for who we are.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinspring View Post
    So how do you find love again? I've never been married but I have loved (an INTJ, natch), and while I won't say it ended badly, it didn't end well as I was left for someone else.

    I was looking through some old Socionics papers of mine and I found something I had printed out on attracting the kinds of people who will like you for your strengths. Socionics is an intertype relations theory that claims to have discovered the secret to which type will be attracted to which other type and why. Of course, culture, physical attraction, chemistry, background, interests, age, character and all those other things are going to come into play, but Socionics teaches that your best matches are going to respond to your personality because you have strengths that complement their weaknesses in a positive way, and vice versa.

    Ultimately, it's about attracting people who automatically need you to be the way you are.

    For me, that's a valuable concept even without the theory. And I don't think it's easy, especially for Feelers and women. We're used to adapting ourselves to what we think the other person wants us to be, or adapting ourselves to fit the moods of other people. We stress the values we have in common with others, even if they're not the ones we really feel strongest about. I know I often show the side of myself that's most compatible with what makes the other person feel comfortable and accepted. But in so doing, am I denying myself the chance to shine as I am? Are we aware of when and how we shine? When we're making a good impression just by being who we are? Because that is the face that's going to attract people (friends and lovers) who are going to value us for who we are.

    How do i find love again? Good question. The first one was from school (oh i hated him at first) and the second was online. I have always done the chasing as i 'just know' i have to get him. I will probably do the same again next time. Someone who was in exactly the same boat as me (emigrate to Canada, marriage breakdown, his decision, move back to the UK with kids) she told me to go to a dating site where she went and found herself a charming gentleman. Problem is, i know it isn't the right time.

    Do you ever just know if your doing the right thing or not .. Like you know you shouldn't do something even if you really would like to. Like your straying off a path you are supposed to be staying on?????

    I do agree with everything you are saying about the Socionics. Strenths and weaknesses, me and the ex were at extremes on everything but also it did help us in a lot of ways. I became more grounded, he had more fun and became more extroverted. He gave me different perspectives and i did the same. Downside though is if you see that someone is trying to change your behaviour as INTJ's are always right. Its like they are trying to tear your character to pieces so you lose your confidence etc.

    Can you have a lasting relationship with someone who is your opposite?

    I think to an extent you do become partly what they want you to be whilst in a relationship as you are always trying to compromise. I do find it hard keeping my identity though (something to work on). Yet when i start a relationship, i don't behave in certain ways etc as i want them to get to know me, quirks and flaws. Its up to them if they want to stay or go.

    Have i even answered your questions? You are able to articulate yourself so well, i feel like i have written a jumbled mess.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

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