Relationship Information
John Gottman, the noted American research psychologist, studied couples over a period of years. Couples came to his laboratory and discussed marital issues. He connected them to devices to measure heart and breathing rate and other vital signs. Then he observed them as they struggled, negotiated or fought in their attempt to resolve the inevitable problems that arise in any relationship. He discovered that those couples who had more than one discounting or demeaning action for every five validating, appreciating, approving actions created an atmosphere in their relationship which led to distancing, and more often than not, divorce within several years.

The four kinds of actions that always precipitate trouble Gottman called "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". In biblical history they were War, Death, Disease, and Famine. Gottman's interpretation considered them: Criticism, Contempt, Stonewalling, and Defensiveness.

Dr. John Gottman reported: "An unhappy marriage can increase your chances of getting sick by roughly 35% and even shorten your life by in average of 4 years."* The sad fact is that only a very low percentage of people in unhappy relationships seek help in spite of the fact that therapy can almost always help. "Eighty percent of divorced men and women said their marriage broke up because they gradually grew apart and lost a sense of closeness, or because they did not feel loved or appreciated."

Good relating is a skill that can be learned, so if your relationship has a low IQ (Intimacy Quotient), go to a marriage and sex therapist for training!
If a relationship is to be happy, the partners need to respect and honour each other's opinions and feelings. Men generally have more trouble with this than women. They have trouble understanding that if their marriage is to thrive, they have to share the 'driver's seat'. "Statistically speaking, when a man is not willing to share power with his partner, there is an 81 % chance that his marriage will self-destruct."**
*Gottman, John M., PhD and Nan Silver
The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work
Crown Publishers, New York, 1999
** Ibid.

In a relationship where there are power struggles and competition, both partners use a lot of energy being alert to defend themselves and they are less open to make the warm connections that create a loving interpersonal field.

Most people come for counselling because they want help with their disappointments in intimate relationships. Their distress may manifest itself as depression, anxiety, chronic conflict, sexual problems, substance abuse, or workaholism, all symptoms that may lead to separation, divorce, or estrangement from an important family member.


In Marriage Therapy, individuals learn constructive methods of dealing with the serious problems of couples in the areas of communication, intimacy, sexuality, lifestyle choices, money, and personal growth and change.

Contact us at (613) 523-6400 so that we may begin to
Discover Solutions Together