#418. How Not to Ruin Your Relationships | Drs. John & Julie Gottman

Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris


If you care about your long term health and happiness, the quality of your relationships is an area you should focus on. And the good news here is that love – as it applies to friends, family, and romantic partners – is not a factory setting, but instead a skill. Drs. John and Julie Gottman are the perfect guests to talk about how to cultivate good relationships in your life. 

World-renowned for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction, Dr. John Gottman has conducted over 40 years of breakthrough research with thousands of couples. He is the co-founder of The Gottman Institute and Affective Software Inc. as well as author of over 200 published academic articles and author or co-author of more than 40 books, including The New York Times bestseller The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Dr. Julie Gottman is the Co-Founder and President of The Gottman Institute and Co-Founder of Affective Software, Inc. A highly respected clinical psychologist and author, she is sought internationally by media and organizations as an expert advisor on marriage, domestic violence, gay and lesbian adoption, same-sex marriage, and parenting issues. She is the co-creator of the immensely popular The Art and Science of Love weekend workshop for couples and she also co-designed the national clinical training program in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. 

This episode explores: how to talk (and listen) to your partner in moments of conflict; what to do before you start trying to solve a problem together; why “there’s no such thing as constructive criticism;” the details of John’s research findings, which have allowed him to predict with stunning accuracy whether a couple will get divorced; how the Gottmans themselves do when it comes to operationalizing their findings/advice; how and why betrayal occurs; when a couple should consider separating; the role mindfulness can play in healthy relationships; and the role of humor in relationships.

Content warning: There are a few mentions of sensitive topics, most notably domestic violence, which Julie discusses for a few minutes towards the end of the interview. 

Back To Top