If I Could Pinpoint One Thing That Breaks Up a Good Relationship

By Caralee Frederic, LCSW | Certified Gottman Therapist | Couples Workshop Presenter

The Disintegration of a Relationship is Increasingly Traced to One Thing: Failed Bids.

Through my work as a couples therapist and counselor, I’ve talked with hundreds of couples in unhappy relationships and I often hear something like this:

We feel more and more out of touch with each other emotionally, mentally and physically. We live parallel lives, and it doesn’t even bother us that much anymore. We wonder, “Is this as good as it gets?” We get along better when we are apart. Whenever we are together, the mood ranges between indifference and fighting. We don’t see a future together. We worry about our kids. They can feel the negative atmosphere, and they are starting to act out with disrespect towards us and each other and bursts of anger. We see them repeating our negative behaviors and we don’t want that for them.

Through my experience as a marriage therapist and my examination of marriage research, I’ve seen that, in many cases, the disintegration of a relationship is increasingly traced to one thing: failed bids.

John Gottman, Ph.D, originally identified failed bids in his research on couple interactions. A failed bid could be defined as: that moment when a person seeks the attention of their partner, and the partner does not respond or mis-responds. A positive connection is not made.

Concrete marriage research shows that couples who respond effectively to each other’s bids early in their relationship and continue that positive behavior throughout their relationship are more likely to remain happily married. In fact, a successful bid is a connection, and studies show that the emotional part of the brain calms down when it feels connected to another person.

Unfortunately, the advent of electronic devices – smart phones, electronic tablets, desktops, video games – in our everyday lives has made failed bids the everyday norm in many relationships, more than ever. Thus, families and marriages are at high levels of risk for disintegration.

But the solution to the problem is in your hands – literally.

I feel so strongly about this topic that I wrote a 5-part series, “Love Touches: Being Human and In Tune; Why We Need Human Connections in an Increasingly High-Tech World.” The entire series is published on my blog at principleskills.com.

Why is it Important?


Into to Love Touches

If I Could Pinpoint One Thing That Breaks Up A Good Relationship

A look at faith-based concepts that we were created by a Divine Being and we innately need human interactions, as well as data that supports the need for these interactions.

Love Touches: Hardwired, Divinely Inspired (Part 1 of 5)

God, Humans and the Need for Connection

Handholding vs Technology – The mental and emotional effects of human touches and excessive technology use on the brain.

Love Touches: The Soothing Touch (Part 2 of 5)

How Your Brain Responds to Touch vs. Tech

Love Touches: What is Real? (Part 3 of 5)

Technology and Fake Love
The definition and causes of an addiction, and steps to take to overcome a tech addiction.

Love Touches: I SEE You (Part 4 of 5)

ATTUNE: Infuse Your Home with Love

ATTUNE, an easy-to-remember formula developed by Dr. John Gottman, that I have applied to the process of setting aside technology and developing healthy interactions.

Coming Soon: “Love Touches: Tech Stress“. A blog article about couples in distress due to technology. If you or someone you know is dealing with “drift,” a virtual affair, or online pornography – be sure to watch for it.