In an event of unusual synchronicity, James Murray, co author with John Gottman et al. of The Mathematics of Marriage, gave an address at the Royal Society on March 26, 2009 which makes it crystal clear that their work on love and respect demonstrated the strictly symmetrical nature of these terms. HT Theophrastus.
This demonstrates that Gottman was misquoted by Emerson Eggerich and that there is no social science or scientific support for the notion that "men need respect and women need love." In fact, Gottman and Murray's detailed longtitudinal study demonstrates that marital success is dependent on love and respect demonstrated in a totally symmetrical fashion.
The exact terms which Gottman and Murray used were "affection and humour" for the most positive affects and contempt as the most negative. They also mentioned that the quality of the friendship between husband and wife was foundational.
In the book, The Mathematics of Marriage, Gottman reports that one woman in particular stated that she felt disrespected, and he saw her difficulty as relating to her perception that she had to be subordinate in her marriage. This was presented as a problem by Gottman.
I am very disappointed when a Christian author misintertprets data presented in an honest fashion and then uses the misinterpretation to attempt to promote the scientific truth of the Bible, or the subordination of woman or what have you. Very disappointing.
When Eggerichs writes,
- Interestingly enough, scientific research confirms that love and respect are the foundation of a successful marriage. Dr. John Gottman, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, led a research team that spent twenty years studying two thousand couples who had been married twenty to forty years to the same partner. There people came from diverse backgrounds and had widely differing occupations and lifestyles. But one thing was similar - the tone of their conversations. As these couples talked together, almost always there was what Gottman calls "a strong undercurrent of two basic ingredients: Love and Respect.
These are the direct opposite of - and antidote for - contempt, perhaps the most corrosive force in marriage."Gottman's findings confirm what has already been in Scripture for some two thousand years. Chapter 5 of Ephesians is considered by many to be the most significant treatise on marriage in the New Testament. Paul concludes these statements on marriage by getting gender specific in verse 33. He reveals commands from the very heart of God as he tells the husband he must love his wife.