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Etiquette

8 things every couple should know about each other

Psychologist John Gottman is the author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and on the radio this morning the DJs were discussing how he says you can predict, in as little as five minutes whether or not a couple will stay married or together for the long haul.  Here are the 8 questions he says EVERY couple should know the answer to:

Can you answer all of these?  Thoughts?
Who are your mate’s two closest friends?What is your mate’s fondest dream in life?Who is your mate’s least favorite relative?What is your mate’s basic philosophy of life?What are your mate’s three favorite movies?What are your mate’s three most special times in their life?What are your mate’s current major worries?What would your mate do if he won the lottery?
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Re: 8 things every couple should know about each other

  • I don't know if I could answer the 3 most special times in his life, because I don't know that he would have an answer for that either.

    And I know his favorite movie is something called Nightbreed, but I don't know what the other top two would be.  I know what he really likes, but not what he would consider his favorites.

    Everything else is easy.
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  • I can answer all of these, except one. The only one I'm truly stumped on is what his favorite three movies are. And I can't figure out how not knowing that affects us as a couple one way or the other.
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  • Yeah the three most special times are the only ones I don't know.  The rest of them are really easy.

    But I agree that the movies question is pretty subjective.  My favorite movies change all the time.  FI's favorites are probably "Snatch" and "The Boondock Saints", but I don't know if I could name a third.  He has so many that he'll willingly watch again and again and again.
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  • i'm not sure if I can answer these questions about myself!
  • I agree with arbs.   The only question I have an issue with is the 3 most special times in his life.  I could probably guess and get them right, but I'm not 100% sure.  I couldn't even tell you the 3 most special times in my own life.

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  • In Response to Re: 8 things every couple should know about each other:
    i'm not sure if I can answer these questions about myself!
    Posted by parker624
    ditto
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
  • Yeah, I don't know about the movies either. I know 3 favorite genres, and his 3 favorite TV series, but movies keep coming out, so the all time 3 favorites probably change weekly. I doubt he could even name just 3.
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  • I don't think I can even definitively answer some of these questions for MYSELF, so I'm not sure how DH could answer them correctly.

    I don't know who his least favorite relative is.  He genuinely seems to like everyone in his family.  Now I'm going to have to ask him when he gets home because I'm curious.
  • Nightbreed is a fantastically bad 80's horror film by Clive Barker.
    I've just saved your marriage Arb.
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  • edited June 2010
    What an odd assortment of questions. I can't answer several of them for myself, much less for him.

    ETA: I couldn't begin to think who his least favorite is, but my thought was he probably didn't have one. I just asked him and he totally rolled his eyes at me and told me he didn't have one.
  • i'm not sure if I can answer these questions about myself!
    Posted by parker624
    I find these really arbitrary and not at all indicative of my relationship with my husband. I'm also not sure I could answer them all about myself. What if someone doesn't have three favorite movies?
  • I know his best friend, but of his other close friends, I think HE would have trouble narrowing it down to 2. I can tell you the top 3-4 though.

    3 most special times? I'd have trouble answering for myself.

    It's funny, because FI is quirky, so some of his relatives that other people see as questionable (like his crazt artist uncle) are people he actually really likes. For that, I guess I'd have to say his middle sister. He helps her out if she needs it (they've helped each other move across the country a few times), but they really aren't close and she can get on his nerves. A lot. I have to say, I relate.
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  • Mrs_AFMrs_AF
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    I can answer all of them pretty easily. His favorite movies vary pretty often, but I know the ones that he will ALWAYS want to watch if they are on tv so I think that counts. I don't think you have to know everything about each other right away to have a successful marriage though. H and I enjoy learning new things about each other, even after dating for 7 years. Just my two cents I guess.
  • I would think that some deal-breaker questions would be more important to favorite movie. Like, "Does he someday want to be a father?"
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  • I understand knowing your partner is important, but being able to answer these questions have nothing to do with staying together for the long haul. Esp. because a lot of these answers would change over the years, if not monthly. 
    I'm imagining the game show 'newly weds' and I have this feeling the same amount of people who won the game show got divorced as any other population.


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  • It is also apparently on Amazon for $8.  I think I just found another birthday gift for him.
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  • AF I love your sig.

    I'm not sure I can answer these for myself either, I'd like to know the theory on how these questions even came about.  My marriage is doomed.
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  • I can answer these questions for the most part, but I am continually blown away by Buddy. He had an... unpleasant upbringing... and he doesn't remember much before the age of 18. It's more of an issue of not WANTING to remember, really, or a kind of defense mechanism, but regardless, I really know only the sketchiest details of his childhood.

    Every once in a while, he pops off with something random, like it's completely natural and normal and something we've talked about a million times. Like, "Well, when I was hit by a motorcycle when I was 7, I..."

    When you were WHAT by WHAT?
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  • Hm.  I could answer these, but I don't think it has anything to do with if our marrige will last or not. 
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  • Mrs_AFMrs_AF
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    Thanks pinkpinot! Our photographer took us behind our hotel by a dumpster and OMG it smelled so bad but the pictures came out really urban and cool. I love them!
  • I don't think I can answer any of these. Our marriage is doomed! DOOOMED! 
  • TJ, my FI is the same way.  He had a pretty bad childhood too so when I heard the questions on the radio I thought, gee I don't even think he has 3 fond childhood memories.  

    I think questions about finances & money management seem more important to a lasting marriage than your mate's least favorite relative. 
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  • In Response to Re: 8 things every couple should know about each other:
    Thanks pinkpinot! Our photographer took us behind our hotel by a dumpster and OMG it smelled so bad but the pictures came out really urban and cool. I love them!
    Posted by Mrs_AF
    make a bio please, so I can see more!
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  • I suppose these questions are REALLY trying to get down to whether or not you have shared goals and if you take an interest in your partner's life outside of his time spent with you. But it wouldn't need to be these specific questions.
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  • PhoeberPhoeber
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    edited June 2010
    We discussed Jon Gottman and the seven principles last semester during a psychology course, although these specific questions did not come up.  After learning about his views on marriage, I can kind of see where these questions come from.  It's appears to be about developing "love maps" -- knowing everything about your partner that you can.  Creating love maps was one of the seven principles.

    My psychology professor also mentioned it's kind of freaky how accurate he is with predicting whether or not a marriage will last.  Apparantly he can sit down with a couple for a few minutes, chat with them, and make a determination with great accuracy. 

    DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a psych major, nor am I knowledeable about psychology.  Just passing along what I learned.
  • Well, I for sure know who is most hated relative is. Sperm donor/"father." Coming in at second is his aunt.

    I would venture to say his most favorite movies are the Star Wars ones (the "new" ones).
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  • I don't see how know my mates three favorite movies could possibly be more important then knowing their stances on ethics, intergrity, world issues and/or cheese.   Theyre just MOVIES.  Thats so ridiculous. 

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  • I'm not sure I can answer these for myself.  I don't think about these kinds of things.  But makes for an interesting coversation together!

    Man, I wish I could meet this person and see what he says about FI and I.  Then again maybe I don't want to know.
  • In Response to Re: 8 things every couple should know about each other:
    We discussed Jon Gottman and the seven principles last semester during a psychology course, although these specific questions did not come up.  After learning about his views on marriage, I can kind of see where these questions come from.  It's appears to be about developing "love maps" -- knowing everything about your partner that you can.  Creating love maps was one of the seven principles. My psychology professor also mentioned it's kind of freaky how accurate he is with predicting whether or not a marriage will last.  Apparantly he can sit down with a couple for a few minutes, chat with them, and make a determination with great accuracy.  DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a psych major, nor am I knowledeable about psychology.  Just passing along what I learned.
    Posted by Phoeber

    I'm kind of curious how the accuracy is gauged (for instance, how could he know 20 years into the future if a once perfectly happy couple gets divorced?) Or are troubled couples looking for him to help and then he says "you're doomed." And whatta ya know, after all his hype of being right, the couple looks at each other and says, "well... if he said it, then...", and then breaks up.
    hmm...

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  • These seem like questions off of a 12 year olds chain letter to me...I know my movie tastes change daily, we don't have friends that we hang out with on a daily basis, neither one of us could pinpoint 3 life events without bringing up 50 more etc.
    Like East I think it is much more important to know each other's spiritual leaning, value on hard work, parenting style, financial situation, etc.
    If someone said she didn't know her husband's favorite movie, I'd think "well, he must watch a lot of movies then" but if she said she didn't know how much debt her husband have it would set off red flags.
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