The Mandatory Orgasm
  February 2010 Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 2   

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Welcome to my February Newsletter! I wish you all a sexy and romantic Valentine’s Day!

This month's article discusses the factors that contribute to a happy marriage. I will list the seven principles of a fulfilling union according to Dr. John Gottman. This month’s question asks about the Gottman Institute.

Let's Talk!
Happily Ever After 
In the fall of 2009, David Letterman asked Madonna if she would consider remarriage. Madonna sarcastically replied that she would “rather get run over by a train.” Sadly, she echoed the sentiments of many divorced and currently married people.

In Canada the divorce rate is 38% by the 30th year of marriage. This percentage does not include long-term common-law relationships that were unsuccessful. The total percentage of failed unions is about 50%. However, the most disturbing aspect of marriage is that many couples that stay married are rarely happy.

Based on my own observation, I would estimate that 1 out of every 10 couples feel fulfilled in their relationships. Interestingly, people still believe in marriage, as 80% of adult Canadians 25 years old or older will walk down the aisle at least once in their lifetime. The desire to share our life with someone may be strong, but few of us have been given the tools to make marriage work. The current divorce rate may be an indication that people expect more from marriage, not less.

Statistics reveal that individuals in their thirties, who are from the same culture and have similar socio-economic backgrounds and educational level, tend to form stable long-term unions. But these factors do not guarantee a happy marriage. The question remains: What do happy couples know that others don’t?

For the past 35 years Dr. John Gottman, an American relationship researcher, has been trying to answer that very question. Over the course of his research, he has observed 3,000 couples interact and from his observations, was surprised to discover that 90% of the time, he was able to predict the future of a marriage.

Gottman noted that all couples argue, get angry, and hurt each other’s feelings. What separated the “masters” from the “disasters” of relationships is a couple’s ability to continuously repair the damage they have caused. In a happy marriage there is at least 5 times more positive interactions (i.e., being affectionate, kind, interested) compared to negative ones (i.e., hostility, criticism, anger). In other words, it takes a lot of positive “stuff” to offset a small amount of negative “stuff”; marriages heading for divorce have a ratio of 1:0.8 of negative to positive interactions.

The masters of relationships know their partners very well and are highly emotionally intelligent. They know each other’s "love map" (i.e., fears, dreams, weaknesses) which in turn enable them to spontaneously recognize when they have caused harm. Also, they know how to effectively repair the damage inflicted.

Happy couples are best friends, and prefer each other’s company above anyone else’s. They build a strong emotional bank account that can withstand the inevitable conflicts. Over time, they develop a positive view of one another, and trust that they each have one another’s best interests at heart. When discussing a problem, these individuals are gentle with each other and each takes responsibility for some part of the issue. They are able to separate the problem from their partner’s character.

The masters of relationships are very good listeners and welcome their partner’s attempts to repair any hurt. They recognize that a conflict is a mechanism for learning how to love each other better. Also, they quickly diffuse negative feelings in order to get back to a harmonious state.

At first glance, being happily married seems like an almost impossible goal; however, Gottman has proven that we can scientifically predict the demise of a couple. As we model ourselves after the masters of relationships, we too can have our “happily ever after.”
Until the next issue, 
J.Q. Macéus
Literary Truths

According to Dr. John Gottman, there are seven principles for making marriage work. Here they are:

  • Know your partner very well: have a detailed “love map” of your mate and remember this information.
  • Focus on the positive characteristics of your partner: find ways to value and approve of one another (i.e., give sincere compliments).
  • Get involved in joint activities: participate in hobbies that both of you enjoy.
  • Share the power: let your partner influence your decisions by finding common ground.
  • Pick your battles: know what you can change and what you cannot change in your partner.
  • Have a common dream: create an exciting future together and a shared vision.
  • Know the meaning behind the experiences: understand what the different events in your mate’s life meant to him/her.
Truth in Motion
You Wanted to Know...

What is the Gottman Institute?

The Gottman Institute was co-founded in 1996 by Dr. John Gottman and his wife, Dr. Julie Gottman. It is located in Seattle, Washington, and provides practical research-based tools that help couples enjoy healthy, fulfilling relationships.

The institute offers: weekend workshops and counselling services; professional training workshops for therapists; and a broad selection of books, DVDs, and services for families and parents. For more information you can visit their website at

Now For Something Completely Different

Saturn has the lowest density of all the planets in our solar system. Its density is such that it would float if placed in water.

Genuine Laugh



Divorce: Facts, Causes & Consequences

Garrison, Marsha. "The decline of formal marriage: inevitable or reversible?" Family Law Quarterly 41.3 (2007): 491.

Gottman, John M. and J. De Claire, The Relationship Cure. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2001.

Gottman, John M. and N. Silver, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1999.

"Happy marriage makes for happy kids. (Society)." The Futurist Nov.-Dec. 2002: 15.

John Gottman part 1-4

Statistics Canada – Population by marital status and sex

Till death do us apart? The risk of first and second marriage dissolution

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Volume 2 - Issue 12: TMO December Newsletter - Blood Is Thicker than Water?
Volume 2 - Issue 11: TMO November Newsletter - Think You're Worth It?
Volume 2 - Issue 10: TMO October Newsletter - HIV=AIDS?
Volume 2 - issue 9: TMO September Newsletter - He's Just NOT that Into You
Volume 2 - Issue 8: TMO August Newsletter - Dangerous Sugar High
Volume 2 - Issue 7: TMO July Newsletter - Multiple Ooooh's
Volume 2 - Issue 6: TMO June Newsletter - Older & Inflamed
Volume 2 - Issue 5: TMO May Newsletter - Breast Cancer - The Number Two Killer
Volume 2 - Issue 4: TMO April Newsletter - Erotica Versus Pornography
Volume 2 - Issue 3: TMO March Newsletter - Sex Toys Are Us
Volume 2 - Issue 2: TMO February Newsletter - Happily Ever After
Volume 2 - Issue 1: TMO January Newsletter - Change or Transformation?
Volume 1 - Issue 16: TMO December Newsletter - Do You Know Your IUDs?
Volume 1 - Issue 15: TMO November Newsletter - Thank You for NOT Smoking
Volume 1 - Issue 14: TMO October Newsletter - Your Erogenous Zones
Volume 1 - Issue 13: TMO September Newsletter - Bloody Mary!
Volume 1 - Issue 12: TMO August Newsletter - The First Time
Volume 1 - Issue 11: TMO June Newsletter - A Touchy Testicular Problem
Volume 1 - Issue 10: TMO June Newsletter - When Sperm Count
Volume 1 - Issue 9: TMO May Newsletter - PMS: You Are NOT Crazy
Volume 1 - Issue 8: TMO May Newsletter - More than a Pill
Volume 1 - Issue 7: TMO April Newsletter - Men Like It Harder
Volume 1 - Issue 6: TMO April Newsletter - Intimacy and Sweatpants
Volume 1 - Issue 5: TMO March Newsletter - Please Dump the Frog!
Volume 1 - Issue 4: TMO March Newsletter - HP What?
Volume 1 - Issue 3: TMO February Newsletter - To Fake It or Not to Fake It?
Volume 1 - Issue 2: TMO February Newsletter - Valentine's Day
Volume 1 - Issue 1: TMO January Newsletter - Truths Behind New Year's Resolutions