Chat with John Gottman

John_Gottman: Ana, it sounds like you're not getting much from this marriage on any level. You need to really take a look at why you're staying with him.

anatoledo: Thank you. I just feel sad for my child who adores the sight of him -- even if my husband has never sacrificed a minute for him.

Lisas_Mail: What are the warning signs that a marriage won't make it? I'm considering marriage, but I'm REALLY afraid of divorce.

John_Gottman: Lisa, the warning signs are if there is less positivity than negativity, less affection, humor, interest. During conflict, there are four signs a marriage won't make it. First is criticism, second is defensiveness, third is contempt (any suggestion of superiority to you) and fourth is stonewalling or emotional withdrawal from the relationship.

marvinmarshtion18: My folks started fighting recently. It was shortly after we found out I am sick. How can I help them to stop?

John_Gottman: How old are you, Marvin?

marvinmarshtion18: I just turned 18.

John_Gottman: Tell them that it upsets you when they fight. Talk to them individually instead of together and tell them how much it upsets you and that you wish they would try to get some help. And don't blame yourself, Marvin, it's not your fault.

marvinmarshtion18: Okay. I'm scared of what will happen to their marriage when it is over.

John_Gottman: I'm sure everyone is very stressed out, Try to find your own sources of support -- they may found be outside your family. It's not your responsibility to take care of your parents' marriage. Take care of yourself, Marvin. You cannot help them cope. Get the support you need. Look into whether the hospital has a support group -- which would be good for all of you. Good luck, Marvin :)

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