John Gottman: The Importance of Trust | Summary and Q&A

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October 28, 2011
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Greater Good Science Center
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John Gottman: The Importance of Trust

TL;DR

Trust is a key factor in successful relationships, and couples who have trust issues are more likely to struggle and relapse after therapy or treatment.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why do certain couples struggle and relapse after therapy or treatment?

This issue may arise because trust and betrayal are the primary issues in their relationship, and they may not have addressed and resolved these underlying trust issues effectively.

Q: What are the common areas of trust that cause conflicts in relationships?

Couples often have conflicts related to trust issues regarding emotional support, prioritizing the relationship, family responsibilities, faithfulness, respect, and involvement in household and child-rearing tasks.

Q: How prevalent is the concept of trust in our society?

Trust is a highly important quality in relationships, as it is the most desirable attribute people seek in a partner when dating, according to social psychologists.

Q: How long do couples typically wait before seeking help for relationship problems?

On average, couples wait for approximately 6 years before realizing there is a significant problem in their relationship and seeking professional help.

Q: What is the significance of trust in relationships, and what does it entail?

Trust goes beyond dependability and involves qualities such as honesty, morality, and caring. It is a fundamental aspect that contributes to successful and fulfilling relationships.

Q: What were the findings of studies conducted with couples expecting a baby and soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

The studies showed that trust and betrayal were the primary issues in these relationships, highlighting the universal importance of trust in different stages and contexts of life.

Q: Why do some couples struggle despite knowing what to do to improve their relationship?

While couples may understand the necessary skills to enhance their relationship, they may still struggle due to unresolved trust issues, indicating the significance of addressing and resolving trust problems effectively.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Many couples wait an average of 6 years before seeking help for relationship problems, and some couples may be too far gone for therapy to have a lasting impact.

  • Trust and betrayal are the number one issues in relationships, as shown by studies with couples expecting a baby and soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Trust involves dependability, honesty, morality, and caring, and it is the most desirable quality in a partner.

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