Happy Couples Disagree

What’s important is how they go about it. Among couples with lasting marriages…

  • About 80% of complaints came from wives. However, they raised issues gently and brought them up sooner rather than later.
  • In addition, husbands were willing to be influenced by their wives and to change their behavior.
  • Neither spouse became upset enough with one another to raise their heart rates above 95 beats per minute.
  • They didn’t escalate their arguments, but used humor, reassurance, and distraction to ease the tension.
  • In fact, successful couples made at least 5 positive remarks or gestures for every negative during an argument. (Remember, when they weren’t arguing, the ratio was about 20 to 1.)