The Tipping Point In Relationship
We know a couple who split up last week. He said he was done.
Moved out. Just like that.
She was shocked. She had no idea he was close to leaving. He said he wanted to find another woman – someone who wouldn’t criticize him.
It happened so fast. She is now unexpectedly a single woman, living on her own with chickens, garden, bills …
Most people don’t know that … every relationship has a Tipping Point.
We call it the Point of No Return.
Where dissatisfaction turns to, I’m done!
John Gottman, a researcher on couples and marriage found that happy couples have a 5:1 ratio between positive interactions and negative interactions. That is, for every criticism and negative comment there has to be at least 5 compliments and positive comments.
The positive interactions build up what Gottman calls The Reservoir of Positive Feeling. The reservoir of positive feeling is like a savings account into which you are making regular deposits to be withdrawn on a rainy day. Couples who have reservoirs of positive feelings can dip into this reservoir when they are criticized to offset their hurt feelings and balance things out.
Gottman came to realize that he could predict with near certainty within 15 minutes of meeting a couple, whether or not their marriage would last. All he had to do was notice their positive and negative interactions.
Most couples that reach the Tipping Point have had more negative interactions than positive for some time. So on some level, while one may be surprised when a partner calls it quits, on another it is no surprise at all if unhappiness, complaint and dissatisfaction have been the norm for months or years.
According to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.
We all need love, touch and positivity in our lives. In this day and age, where divorce is relatively easy and commonplace, when we feel despairing, in pain and hopeless enough, many of us will choose to leave our partners
in search of a better experience.
How do you know if you are close to the Tipping Point?
Here is a partial list of what to look for, to know whether or not you may be approaching the point of no return. These are common
signs of a distressed relationship:
- You have the same fights over and over again
- You spend more time bickering and fighting than getting along
- You sleep apart
- You rarely have sex or don’t have sex at all
- You are living in silence
- You live more like roommates than intimate lovers
- You are not affectionate, you rarely touch
- You don’t appreciate each other verbally
- You don’t feel like giving to your partner
- Your interactions are more negative than positive
- You spend very little time together
- You don’t feel like your needs are getting met
- Your interactions are wrought with complaint, blame and criticism
- You have nothing to talk about when you are together
- You spend little or no quality time together
- You feel unhappy, depressed, angry, hurt, sad, hopeless and lonely most of the time
- You secretly think about leaving
- You have had, are having or are thinking about having an affair
- You talk about divorcing or leaving each time you fight
If you exhibit any of the relationship behaviors listed here,
then your relationship is distressed.
Now you many be asking, What prevents couples from reaching the Tipping Point?
The bad news is that relationships do not get better by themselves. On the contrary – they get worse.
You need to learn new communication skills and develop more effective relationship practices if you are turn the tide and save your marriage.
So get help. Get support.
Relationship Training. Coaching. Therapy. Something. Anything…
The good news is that there is nothing wrong with you, nothing wrong with your partner and nothing wrong with your relationship. You just haven’t learned a better way to be in relationship.
No wonder. Most of us have NEVER taken a relationship class.
So don’t let yourself get shocked, like our friend was.
Remember that the Tipping Point can happen at any time.
Get help and save your marriage – before it is TOO late.