It’s fair to say that all couples argue, whether your partner has forgotten to put the bin out or left the toilet seat up, it happens. But we bet you didn’t know that there’s a maths equation that will predict whether you and your loved one will get a divorce – and it’s 90 per cent accurate.
This comes from a study by psychological researcher John Gottman and professor of mathematics James Murray, who filmed couples in long term relationships for 15 minutes having a row.
They worked out a way to score everything that was happening during the argument, including heart rate, blood pressure, facial expressions and skin conductance.
It wasn’t just the physical bits they focused on though, they also paid attention to whether certain couples used humour, whether they were being open, or if they were being pretentious and aggressive.
Next, they decoded what was happening in the argument, which meant they were then able to predict whether a couple would get divorced. So, it’s all really about how you argue, and what you say in an argument, that will decide your chances of longer term happiness.
So, get your pen and paper out, because here’s the equation:
Wt+1= w + RwWt+ IHM (Ht)
Yeah, bit confusing isn’t it? This may just look like a bunch of random numbers and letters, but we’ll break it down for you, because it’s actually pretty clever.
- The Wt+1 stands for the positivity or negativity of the wife’s next comment in the argument
- The w after the = stands for the wife’s general mood
- You then add that to the ‘RwWt’ which basically stands for the wife’s mood with the husband
- Next, you add IHM, which stands for the husband’s influence
- (Ht) at the end of the equation means you need to include the husband’s most recent action too