Hoping for the good life.


ABOUT THE PICTURE:   Weddings are full of hope and according to most statistics and far too many jokes, the hope is sadly mis-placed.My mother’s mother in her wedding dress.  Did she have a happy wedding.  Don’t think so.  Moreover her husband died in his early fifties leaving her somewhat dependent on the kindness of strangers.  David and I watched Plaza Suite, the other night.  If you haven’t seen it, it is worth a few laughs, particularly the last segment.  That involves a bride who locks herself in the bathroom fearing her marriage will be like her parents.

Cranky Old Man laughed so hard, if he had false teeth, they would have been blown across the room.  He had good dental care, one of the benefits of parents with money enough to get you to the dentist on time.  My parents had no money to spare for dental care, However, I didn’t laugh my dentures out or even wet my Cranky Old Lady panties, but I did have a few laughter tears running down my cheeks.  So when you need a laugh, try Plaza Suite. I borrowed it from our local library, so I suspect it is on Net Flicks or somewhere free.

Back to the Five to One Rule.  It keeps the hope alive that leads most people to marrying.  Here is the scholarly article, followed by my very brief synopsis.

Bad Is Stronger Than Good  Here’s a quote:” Centuries of literary efforts and religious  thought have depicted human life in terms of a struggle between good and bad forces. At the metaphysical level, evil gods or devils are the      opponents of the divine forces of creation and  harmony. At the individual level, temptation and destructive instincts battle against strivings for virtue, altruism, and fulfillment. “Good” and “bad” are among the first words and concepts learned by children (and even by house pets), and most people can readily characterize almost any  experience, emotion, or outcome as good or bad.

And here is the finding that all should attend to: ” Gottman (1994) has proposed a revealing diagnostic index for evaluating relationships: He proposed that in order for a relationship to succeed, positive and good interactions must outnumber the negative and bad ones by at least five to one.”

STAYING STRONG TIP  If you want a relationship to thrive you must accentuate the positive for there is no chance you will eliminate the negative.  Every frown must be counterbalanced by five smiles, every complaint by five thank you’s.

Moreover, although not discussed in the article,  I suspect there has to be some similarity in terms of a weight ratio  between the two factors.  Five smiles might counter balance a frown, but would not in my mind counter a slap or punch.  Nor would five verbal thank you’s undo a negative written report about your job performance.

Still keeping the ratio in mind is extremely helpful, particularly for parents and teachers.  If you are the parent of a toodler, keep count of how many times you must say no in one way or another.  When you do, try a quick hug and four more positive interactions before you have to say no again.  The parenting gurus make a good point that we almost always stop our children from fighting, but rarely comment when they play together well.  These suggest “Catching your child doing the right thing” is as or more important then stopping the bad.  Good advice.

FUEL MY HOPES:  Be kind to  me,  get kindness badges for you, and help others get and stay strong.  Kindness is an Emotional Fitness Exercise.  Click here for all 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.

IMAGE BY: Who knows, I don’t.


    • Sad. I have some of the letters she wrote to her husband and they softened me to her. Also think she was bi-polar which runs through the family genes along with the need for AA, depression and learning disabilities. Have asked other family members to talk about good memories of her. None have being willing to do so. We are all such combinations of what nature and life grant us. I have been granted much. Thank you again. My heart warms with your comments, you posts are you brilliant to be liked by you is like being blessed by the Pope. Not that I want his blessings and suspect you are a far better and healthier person.

  1. Great post! Love the 5 to 1 rule. Needs to be practiced more often. Might even stop wars, you never know. Love the vintage photograph too. I always want to know more about the person in the photograph. My hubby and I have survived 35 years with a Monty Python like humour. It has worked thus far!

    • Thank you, Darlene. I often credit the length of my marriage to Johnny Carson. We had a tv in our bedroom–electronic junkies that we are and never turned it off until he was done for the night. Humor really keeps us strong. And people liking and commenting keep me strong. Thank you.

    • My grandmother, Chris and ugly as sin in my eyes. She is the first person I remember actively hating. She mooched off my parents and was abusive. Sad. Many in the family share her good looks, but not her mean spirit. As many are also alkies, I suspect that may account for her mean-ness. Thank you as always for commenting.

      Dentures have a will of their own or at least mine do. The dentist says when I finally am rid of my five remaining teeth they will do better. At the moment, don’t have the $3000 available to make the swap. Hope your children and grandchildren thank the force of science for floride. Really works as does brushing and flossing.

      Staying strong.

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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