Chat with John Gottman

John_Gottman: Cyndi, one of the signs of a healthy relationship is both people treating one another with affection and respect. It sounds like yours has these qualities, but the area of respect is problematic to you. I would talk to him about this issue and how it undermines your ability to treat him as an equal.

CYNDI.J: Well, if he is going to misbehave, he's going to get in trouble. I end up laughing about it most the time, but it irritates me.

John_Gottman: We find that most relationships have perpetual problems like this one. But if you can laugh about it, that's a sign that it's something you can live with.

Kdmal: My husband and I dated for seven years and have been married for five. I've been going to marriage counseling by myself since May. My husband won't go. He feels we can work on our problems by talking -- when I talk, he listens, and changes for one week -- than he's back to normal. I'm at the end of my rope. Why won't he listen or realize that I'm really unhappy?

John_Gottman: Kd, this is another example of a stubborn guy. We've seen a lot of them lately in our laboratory. It's a Mexican standoff, unless you do something that makes it clear to him that you won't live this way.

cameo72: My husband was married once before. He has two children from that marriage, whom I adore. The problem is that we recently found out that he is also the father of a four-year-old boy. We have decided only to support this child financially. We have been married for two years and have no children of our own. I desperately want one but it never seems we'll be able to afford it. I take this out on him and I know there is nothing he can do, but I feel that I will never be able to put his past behind us and enjoy a family of our own.

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