Myths and Truths about Happy Couples

In Judy Lightstone’s article on “Myths and Truths about Happy Couples”, she takes a look at what extensive research has revealed about what makes for a healthy and joyful partnership (and vice versa) . Readers may be surprised to learn that it is not the number of differences or things a couple disagree on that can make or break that relationship, but more so – how they discuss these differences that is key to their satisfaction and success together. The article includes findings from world renowned research-practitioner John Gottman’s studies on couples dynamics and also proposes a few useful ways in which we can work towards overcoming the “4 Horsemen” of relationship fatality, which include criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling. In particular, what is becoming increasingly clear is how important it is for couples to have well-stocked ‘love banks’, which can be for example, nurtured and maintained through words of encouragement, praise and kind gestures towards each other on a continual basis.  This then forms a strong firmament which helps them weather the challenges that can arise in the form of small daily grievances to larger tensions over the course of time. Ultimately though, it proposes that all couples who want to experience secure and happy relationships should work towards nurturing unconditional positive regard for one another (the same positivity and respect therapists and clients hope to generate in their therapeutic relationship) which is rooted in developing emotional safety with each other.

In couples counselling, I often encourage couples to make a habit of consciously communicating daily appreciations with one another. This both serves as an antidote to any negativity that might be brewing while also helping them to start rebuilding a foundation based on positive regard and mutual respect. For more on relationship counselling or for therapeutic support, you can contact Anoushka at 



(1)    Reference Link: “Myths and Truths about Happy Couples” by Judy Lightstone, (2012),’happycouples’.htm

(2)    For more on couples’ research-practitioner John Gottman, you can visit his website at

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