What Makes Love Succeed or Fail?

Episode 665 1h 7m


What if I told you there were proven habits that could make your relationship healthier, happier, and longer lasting? Research has revealed that by staying aware of how we interact with our partners and embracing specific patterns we are less likely to get divorced and more likely to be in a satisfying relationship many years from now.

Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I’m excited to talk to two leading experts in the field of healthy relationships, Drs. Julie Schwartz Gottman and John Gottman, cofounders of the Gottman Institute. Together, they’ve coauthored many bestselling books, including Eight Dates, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, and most recently, The Love Prescription: Seven Days to More Intimacy, Connection, and Joy. The Gottmans have been able to predict with 90% accuracy if a couple will stay together or get divorced, after just 15 minutes of observation.

Much of their previous work has focused on the key problems that lead to dysfunction, but their newest book is all about redirecting our attention to what works to create more love and connection. I think of these tips as microtools for the moment that help us put deposits into our emotional bank accounts.

Throughout our conversation, they share a few key examples of healthy habits in a relationship. One is embracing a “turning towards” dynamic means when your partner makes a bid for connection, you respond. Another is simply complementing or affirming your partner, something many of us do much more at the beginning of a relationship but do less of as time goes on. Curiosity is another one, which means just by asking questions we can create a deeper understanding of our partner's current reality and how they’re evolving. With the right intentions and actions, we can create more love and connection.


This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market, BiOptimizers, BON CHARGE, and Sunlighten. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • The top four relationship killers


  • The keys to a successful relationship


  • Love as a practice


  • What makes for a great sex life


  • How to have healthy conflict


  • Breaking out of reactivity and fight or flight


  • The biggest predictor of divorce


  • How contempt differs from criticism


  • The origins of contempt


  • Top relationship hacks


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Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Coming up on this episode of the Doctor's Pharmacy...

Dr. John Gottman:
Not only is contempt our best predictor of divorce, but it also predicts how many infectious illnesses the recipient of contempt will have in the next 40 years.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to Doctors Pharmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman. This is a place for conversations that matter, and if you've ever struggled with a relationship, I think you're going to want to tune in and listen carefully to this podcast because with two of the giants in the field of relationship, Doctors John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman, who are co-founders of the Gottman Institute. You might have heard of them. I certainly have followed their work for many decades. Probably..

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Ep. 665 - What Makes Love Succeed or Fail?