What Makes Love Last? How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal

John Gottman and Nan Silver. Simon & Schuster, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-0847-2
Gottman and Silver (coauthors of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work) bring the quantitative, physiological metrics-based methods pioneered in Gottman’s “Love Lab” at the University of Washington to the topics of trust, betrayal, and infidelity. In an easy-to-understand format full of anecdotes, imaginary dialogues, and analogies to game theory, Gottman explains lack of trust in a relationship as a deficit of attunement, positing that once the body becomes “flooded” by physiological stress reactions, attempts to repair communication fail. He explains betrayal as a logical outcome of a pattern in which partners fail to communicate their discontent, one partner becomes untrustworthy and makes negative comparisons between the partner and some other person or situation, and the injured partner seeks solace elsewhere. Though clear that there are various types of betrayal (e.g., absenteeism, making coalitions against a partner, and lying), much of the book covers communicating about and renewing sexuality as both a method for and a result of better attunement between partners. The practical tools to evaluate current relationships and step-by-step methods for avoiding betrayal, repairing relationships heading toward crisis, or healing a relationship after a crisis will be useful to couples who want to look honestly at healing chronic hurts and improving the state of their relationship, and are ready for a system to help them. Agent: TK. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2012
Release date: 09/04/2012
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-5819-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-0819-8
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4516-0848-9
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4516-0849-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-3819-5
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