Skinning a Cat

The adage,  “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” applies to marriage, too.  John Gottman’s book, “Why Marriages Succeed or Fail” highlights practical application of the results of his decades-long research on which marriages last and which ones end up in divorce.  Gottman, one of the few who have done longitudinal research on marriage, documents 94% accuracy in predicting divorce in the couples he observed.

Gottman’s research benefits many couples by dispelling the myths around a “successful marriage”.  He identifies three different types of stable marriages:  the validating marriage, the conflict-avoidant marriage, and the volatile marriage.

What?  A volatile marriage?

Whew! I can come out of the closet now.

I always knew my marriage was unique.  It didn’t match up with those highlighted in my training as a marriage and family therapist.  The priest in pre-marital counseling noted how direct, outspoken, and forward my husband and I were with each other.

I was not ashamed of my marriage, but perhaps a little self-conscious in situations when I felt it didn’t fit with me being a marriage expert.  I know my marriage is not perfect, but I feel grateful my spouse and I are working on it.

God so encourages all of our efforts to get better.  I was heartened to learn that there is a nice side effect for those volatile couples:  they are the most passionate of all the types.  So there is method to God’s madness that I vacillate from wanting to kill my husband to not being able to imagine life without him.  It has never been a dull moment.

Tune in next time to hear how to make practical positive changes in your marriage by understanding Gottman’s research.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Wonder at how God provides many paths to what is good, true, and beautiful.