In his famous “Love Laboratory,” Dr. John Gottman observed married couples interacting with hidden cameras. In some cases the observations lasted for days.
His research concluded that spousal disgust was the most damaging emotion in a relationship. Actually, disgust was the strongest predictor of the couple eventually separating and getting divorced.
Dr. Janet Kiecolt-Glaser has shown that spouses who are the constant objects of disdain develop health risks. Contempt from one spouse induces powerful feelings of shame and inferiority on the other. Being shamed on a daily basis, from someone who is supposed to love and cherish through sickness and in health, is damaging. Additional research has proven that the response, “You make me sick,” is true. Berated spouses are at high risk for decreased immune function. The emotional battering makes them susceptible to illness.
So if there is verbal abuse and contempt in your relationship are you doomed to divorce?
NO! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE DOOMED TO DIVORCE.
A problem well defined seeks its own solutions. Once you identify that a destructive habit has crept into your relationship you can turn it around. Specifically, a Love for Life Workshop provides the format and coaching to heal the hurt and develop a new path to forgiveness, empathy, and intimacy.
Knowing the problem and strengthening the relationship can turn your conflict into love and appreciation.
I know it sounds impossible but thousands of couples prove the benefits of learning and practicing new skills to enrich their relationships. Marriages need care and feeding, sometimes we just need to change the recipe.