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Publisher's Summary

Psychologist John Gottman has spent twenty years studying what makes a marriage last. Now you can use his tested methods to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain your own long-term relationship. This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to help you determine what kind of marriage you have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to help your marriage. You'll also learn:

  • More sex doesn't necessarily improve a marriage
  • Frequent arguing will not lead to divorce
  • Financial problems do not always spell trouble in a relationship
  • Wives who make sour facial expressions when their husbands talk are likely to be separated within four years
  • There is a reason husbands withdraw from arguments- and there's a way around it

Dr. Gottman tells you how to recognize attitudes that doom a marriage - contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling - and provides practical exercises, quizzes, tips, and techniques that will help you understand and make the most of your relationship. You can avoid patterns that lead to divorce, and Why Marriages Succeed or Fail will show you how.

©1994 John Gottman (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"There's plenty of old-fashioned, helpful, and worthwhile advice here about gender differences, realistic expectations, love, and respect." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Diane
  • ANN ARBOR, MI, United States
  • 06-19-12

Insightful and Easily Understood

If you could sum up Why Marriages Succeed or Fail in three words, what would they be?

Cheap relationship therapy.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There were no characters.

What about Paul Costanzo’s performance did you like?

His voice is very relatable.

What did you learn from Why Marriages Succeed or Fail that you would use in your daily life?

Pretty much everything. The book highlights very common logic errors and character flaws that can wreak havoc on personal relationships. It also assured me that having the specific personality that I do isn't indicative that my personal relationships are doomed forever. Learning to let go of things that don't matter much and how to communicate which things are not negotiable... how mature of me!

Any additional comments?

This book requires a healthy degree of objectivity and self-reflection. Like all self-help type books, it won't change your life. But you will if you decide to internalize any of the sage advice it gives.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Awesomely awesome

Because this book is backed up with scientific evidence, it gives me great confidence in the information it provides. Not only does it provide solid techniques and advise, but it also gives extensive examples of the techniques and advice. I will read this again, and would recommend it to anybody.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Sizing up your marriage

Dr Gottman is wonderful about putting everyday trials of marriage into manageable struggles. If you fight with your spouse constantly, read this book. If you feel your spouse does not understand you, read this book. Don't wait till the divorce lawyers are in the picture to look for help!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Well researched and principles are easy to apply

Any additional comments?

This book is particularly useful because the underlying research is empirical rather than purely theoretical. Highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • colette
  • PASADENA, CA, United States
  • 01-01-17

Required reading

Anyone remotely considering getting married should read this book.
I wish I had read it years ago.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Meh

The narrator was very monotonous and so it was hard to listen to sometimes. Overall the information was helpful.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Roger
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 05-09-18

Great guide to intimate relationships

Love this book, lots of good information about the "work" of a relationship. Value many of concepts contained herein.

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Great content, delivery is a little stiff

This book will transform your relationships if you let it, but I thought the narrator was a bit robotic sounding and it was distracting until I got used to his style.

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Great Advice from an Expert

This book has a lot of helpful insights from somebody who has strongly researched the topic. It goes through the most common sources of arguments and explains why they tend to be problems in our society. More importantly than that, however, is it explains the three types of successful marriages he has discovered - not just one. This helped me to gain insight on not only my relationship but on the successful relationships of others that did not appear to make sense to me. He also details four argument strategies to stay away from. I absolutely recommend this to anybody who wants more insight on how to participate in a successful, long lasting relationship.
AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

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Extremely Valuable Information

After studying the content of this book and applying its principles in our marriage, we are firmly on the path to healing.