How seriously should we take John Gottman?
Things are hard in daily life. Getting out of bed is hard. The daily commute is hard. Getting along with other people is hard. So we want magic, some little dusting of wonderfulness that makes life just a little less drab. And that’s why when something is too good to be true, we believe it anyway.
No wonder so many people jumped on the Gottman juggernaut. Here was this guy claiming, on the basis of research, that he could predict with 90% accuracy whether a couple would get divorced after looking at their interactions on tape for only five minutes. A five-minute miracle! Magic lives.
A lot of us who’ve spent our lives working with couples heard about this, stroked our chins, and said, Hmmmm… Could be… But probably (more…)