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Relationship 101: Turning Towards
{Monrovia Marriage Therapist}

One of the most significant factors in whether marriages thrive is over in an instant.

Can you guess what it is?

Here’s a clue: couples who are happily married do this one thing 86% of the time, whereas couples who later divorce only do this 33% of the time.

The secret?

Happily married couples do what psychologists call turning towards one another.

Dr. John Gottman has found in his extensive relationship research that couples are constantly bidding for each others engagement. We make bids for attention, intimacy, support, affection, and humor throughout our days – hoping all the while, that our partner will respond.

Its important to note that these bids for engagement tend to be quick, subtle, and uneventful. Four examples:

1. “Hm, this is interesting.”

2. “G’night.”

3.   Sigh..

4. “Oh, it’s nice outside.”

Pretty mundane, right?

Yet behind each of these brief statements is a person hoping to receive a response from their partner. Spouses who make the small effort to provide a warm (or even neutral) verbal or non-verbal response can make their partners feel heard, valued, and ultimately, loved. These couples “turn towards” one another.

And its not as hard as one might think! It’s as simple as:

1. “Hm, this is interesting.”

“What is?”

2. “G’night.”


3. Sigh..

“Are you alright?”

4. “Oh, it’s nice outside.”

Looks outside

You can do this. Your partner can do this. Anyone can do this. But not everyone does.

In the dozens of bids for engagement couples make throughout the day, partners tend to respond in three ways:

#1. Turning Towards (engaging your partner, as demonstrated above)

#2 Turning Against (aggressively responding. E.g., “Why are you bothering me?!”)

#3 Turning Away (ignoring your partner)

The question is: Are you willing to respond to your partner’s bids for engagement by Turning Towards?

If you are, then sit down with your partner and take the Turning Towards Challenge in this week’s vlog!

Thanks for joining me to focus on thriving and relationships!

Take Care,

Megan Lundgren

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


P.S.  Do you feel that you and your partner could benefit from relationship counseling or marriage therapy? You don’t have to wait – it is always a good time for a relationship tuneup.  If you live in Monrovia, Arcadia, Covina, Altadena, Pasadena, or other nearby cities, book your first session by clicking on the link below! I look forward to connecting with you soon.


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