Our relationship will last a long time

How long will my relationship last?

Does a prognosis about the duration of a relationship make sense?

The desire for security in a relationship is understandable and not new, but it contradicts the essence of love, which requires courage and trust from the partners in order to be able to grow. Love is a choice and it changes. In the best case scenario, it will grow over the years. The comforting thing is: it can also be rekindled once it has cooled down because the partners have developed in opposite directions.

In fact, there are a few factors that can make a relationship fail. From couple therapy practice, I would say: When the connection can no longer be established, for example after a long affair and a considerable loss of trust. Otherwise I am fundamentally optimistic and think that as long as both partners want a relationship, everything is possible, regardless of their differences.

With a hit rate of over 90% a few years ago, the American couple researcher Prof. John Gottman made a very precise prediction of whether a couple would stay together or not. His scientific work "The Measurement of Love" is teeming with mathematical formulas that he created over 40 years of observing couples. The relationship history consists of an extremely extensive questionnaire with several hundred points and classifies couples into a total of 5 pair types: 3 successful and two unsuccessful.

"If you start unhappy, you will be even more unhappy"

I can confirm from my experience that relationships that start out with difficulty tend to remain difficult. The reason is the couple dynamic that arises, for example, when one partner wants the relationship more than the other. A couple rarely gets out of that. I would like to summarize it like this: the choice of partner is wrong. One of the partners would have to change fundamentally for a relationship to work. It won't happen. However, many couples enter into a relationship in the hope that the other would adapt or realize that they have to adapt. This principle of hope will not be fulfilled.

At the same time, however, the following applies: If both partners really want a relationship with each other, then they can actually overcome their conflicts or at least integrate them into their partnership in such a way that their bond remains. The point is never to resolve all conflicts, but rather to come to terms with the insoluble conflicts. These are those where no compromise is possible that will satisfy both partners equally. And that's over 60% of all relationship conflicts! Anyone who only ever receives a maximum of half of what they want will at some point no longer be optimistic about this relationship because they cannot imagine being happy with this person in the future. But as long as couples can accept these conflicts, anything is possible.