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American psychologist John Gottman has a knack for discerning healthy arguments from unhealthy ones, and he is known for identifying pattern markers that spell doom for a relationship. On this episode, Tim and Rick draw key insights from Gottman’s body of research on disagreement in relationships and patterns of healthy communication and discuss application for civility and unity in disagreement, with special consideration for relationships in the Church.


Rick Langer: Welcome to the Winsome Conviction podcast. My name's Rick Langer, and I'm a professor in Biola, in the Biblical Studies and Theology department, as well as the director of the Office of Faith and Learning, and also one of the co-directors of the Winsome Conviction Project.

Tim Muehlhoff: And I'm Tim Muehlhoff. I'm a professor of communication at Biola University and Rick's right hand man with the Winsome Conviction Project, and we are so glad to be with you. We don't take you for granted. Thank you for joining us as we try to talk about communication and what goes well and what can go sideways. So Rick, let me start with this question. If I told you there was an expert who could watch a couple argue for five minutes and then predict in the 90th percentile whether they would get a divorce, what do you think about that? What do you think he's watching in five minutes that he can predict in the 90th percentile, whether this couple in fact is going to make it?

Rick Langer: I think he should get out more, get a hobby. So, I'm thinking of the Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours to develop your expertise, and I'm going, oh my gosh, the price tag that he paid to acquire that knowledge.

Tim Muehlhoff: That he paid to see it.

Rick Langer: But that said, I do not know, but I bet you would love to tell me what he was looking at or notice. That's a great question.

Tim Muehlhoff: So my master's was in groups disagreeing with each other. My master's thesis was in rhetoric of how groups try to form connection or they separate from each other based on deep disagreements. So we kind of created a four step model that we've talked about on this podcast before. But my PhD is in marital communication, which by the way, I like to bring up to Noreen when we're having a disagreement. I like to say-

Rick Langer: How does that work?

Tim Muehlhoff: It does not work well.

Rick Langer: But you'd like to do it anyhow.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yes. It doesn't stop me.

Rick Langer: This is the Winsome Conviction Project, Tim.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yes. This is the not thinking it through approach. So we read a man named John Gottman. When you talk about marital research or interpersonal communication, the name John Gottman is used by both Christians and non-Christians. His research is impeccable. He studied 5,000 couples, did a longitudinal study of what was it about their communication pattern per se that would either bring them together or drive them apart. Now, he mostly focuses on marital communication, but I just did a lecture in one of my classes called Gottman's Greatest Hits. He's written a ton of books.

Rick Langer: I am familiar with Gottman.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yes.

Rick Langer: Yes.

Tim Muehlhoff: And it's the things that I catch myself going back to. You can't quote all of Gottman. So what were the major things that I would go back to? And I decided to create a lecture called Gottman's Greatest Hits. I think, where we're trying to promote civility, unity in today's argument culture, a man like Gottman, who by the way isn't a believer. So this is a powerful testimony to something called common grace that God enlightens both Christians and non-Christians when it comes to medical technology, certain interventions. And when it comes to relational advice, a person doesn't have to be, per se, a Christian to offer good relational, marital family advice. So a huge shout out to God's faithfulness to give us relational information coming from both inside the church and outside the church. So, before we get to his greatest hits, we need to answer the question.

Okay. He watches a couple argue for five minutes, and he can predict in the 90th percentile. How in the world does he watched the argument? Think about that. If Gottman were in my house with me and Noreen, by golly Rick, we're not having an argument in front of one of the foremost marriage relational experts in the world. So he created something, I know this sounds kind of goofy, but he created something called The Love Lab, which is a makeshift living room like you and I are sitting in a podcast studio right now that kind of looks like a makeshift den or study or something like that, where he created this living room and then he has a two-way mirror that all of his assistants are watching this couple who has signed up for a study. Okay? He's still not getting a genuine argument. Okay? You fill out a questionnaire before you ever walk into the Love Lab, and the questionnaire is about all different facets of your relationship, sexual intimacy, finances, family background, okay?

You fill it out, but you do not know how the other person has answered these questions. Okay? So now you're sitting there and you kind of know this is probably a two-way mirror, Gottman's study. I know what this is. So we answer a question about finances. Would you describe yourself as frugal or cheap? And you say, well, for sure I'm frugal. Come on, I care about money. And well, your spouse then live says, well, I actually put cheap. And you're sitting there going, okay, I'm not going to, no, no, no, no, no, no, I'm not having an argument in front of John Gottman. So you let that one slide.

Well, then when it gets about to the 15th question, and then we're talking about different things, you're like, dog gone it, that ticked me off. Gottman says, roll it. We just hit the argument. And then Gottman says, within five minutes I've identified some key things that tells me, if they're habitual, this couple is going to dissolve their marriage eventually. Isn't that interesting? So he's actually watching them have honest to goodness, authentic arguments that they're happening in the Love Lab. Isn't that wild?

Rick Langer: That is. Well, and that's a good way to set it up where you give people some time to kind of talk normal and then something triggers them. And by the way, back to the things we usually talk about in the Winsome Conviction realm, that's kind of how it works, right?

Tim Muehlhoff: Yes.

Rick Langer: That is strikingly similar. When I think of things, I am fairly ready to excuse one or two, kind of like you were describing, but when a person, there's probably hot button issues for me, but also when a person gives me enough, I feel like it's time for me to say something back and you're off and running.

Tim Muehlhoff: And sadly, we're kind of like Gottman in a way, like when a church brings us in because they're experiencing difficulties. They're having these honest disagreements, but they know they just brought in two Biola professors who are co-directors of the Winsome Conviction Project. But you and I would say we've seen some authentic disagreements happening in a meeting that we've been trying to moderate. People aren't holding back-

Rick Langer: Towards us and towards each other.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yeah.

Rick Langer: Yes. Both.

Tim Muehlhoff: So it is kind of wild to watch that in real time and think, my goodness, these people really do care deeply about this. And I like what you said, an emotional button just got pushed and then watching that unfold. And again, many of our listeners are thinking, well, I've seen that at a family gathering.

Rick Langer: Thanksgiving dinner maybe.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yes, or a church meeting, a business meeting that went a little bit sideways. So just know that Gottman is observing people having real arguments, even in spite of themselves in some ways. So here are Gottman's greatest hits. But first I want to read you a quote that I closed my dissertation with, and I studied two married couples having disagreements, and I closed it with this quote. "Human nature dictates that it is virtually impossible to accept advice from someone unless you feel that person understands you. If either or both of you feels judged, misunderstood, or rejected by the other, you will not be able to manage the problems in your marriage." Isn't that interesting, Rick?

Rick Langer: Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: Before I can accept your advice as a church member, a neighbor, a family member, a spouse, a child, I have to, and the operative word there, Rick, is feel that you understand what I'm trying to say. So if we don't express understanding in a way the other person acknowledges as understanding, it might be that you and I are having a disagreement and I think I am being as understanding as humanly possible. And then you walk away and say, you never understood me at all during that entire conversation. You can imagine the frustration of that.

Rick Langer: Yeah, both ways.

Tim Muehlhoff: Both ways.

Rick Langer: The one person for not having been understood and the other person feeling like I did everything I could possibly think of to communicate that. And you still give me a zero on the understanding me scale.

Tim Muehlhoff: And by the way, that's Carl Rogers. In his famous study of empathy, he said the most important part of empathy is that you finally say, I feel like you're empathizing with me, that I could be doing textbook empathy, and yet you walk away saying you never really empathize with any part of that. So I love the fact that for Gottman, this is a bedrock principle that you simply can't avoid. So we call this a constitutive rule, Rick, which means if you and I or our listeners are going to have a disagreement with a person and you're going to try to talk about what's really hurting your church, small group or your marriage, you better find an agreement for what counts as what ahead of time.

Rick Langer: When you say, what do you mean by that? Unpack that.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yeah. Yeah. So when you say, I want you to listen to me, I feel very strongly about this issue, I probably should say, okay, just for a second, how would you define listening? And what does listening actually look like to you? And then I tailor make my listening to fit how you want to be listened to. Because remember what Gottman said, unless you feel listened to, you're never going to accept my [inaudible 00:10:29].

Rick Langer: So this is kind of like the love languages thing.

Tim Muehlhoff: A little bit.

Rick Langer: Do you communicate love by gifts or by service or by verbally? And how do you communicate listening? Do you play things back? Is it paying full attention? Is it eye contact? Is it affirmation? That's one of the things that I've often worried about is that people can say, you didn't listen to me because at the end of the time you didn't agree with them. And those are two different things. But I think it is harder to accept that a person's really listened to you when they still end up disagreeing with you than if they're either neutral or obviously if they're affirming. I think that's a tough nut to crack.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yeah, so imagine you come from a family where you speak, the other person's dead silent because it'd be rude to interject. That would just be rude because you're speaking. But I come from a family of origin that everybody's jumping in, even stepping on each other's senses, that shows that I'm into it.

Rick Langer: Yeah. You're engaged.

Tim Muehlhoff: I'm engaged.

Rick Langer: You're with me, you're on the rollercoaster ride with me.

Tim Muehlhoff: So both of these people come together with two different frames of references of what listening actually looks like and what they value.

Rick Langer: Okay. So that's helpful. Because I think about that, about even people in my family extended family circle who really do respond differently in terms of that kind of engagement. And that is, and the question is, what communicates listening? That's a great question. All right.

Tim Muehlhoff: So this is called meta communication, communication about our communications. So I think a great principle we can take with the Winsome Conviction Project is where we're going to sit down and have church members talk to each other. Of course, we want them to listen to understand, but we should probably let them come up with it. Like to say to the group, okay, a big part of how we run these conversations is we're going to ask you to listen to each other, but just for a second, take a piece of paper and write down what that looks like to you and how do you know a person's listening to you? Then we're going to share this and come up with our own group definition of listening that everybody feels valued and can sign off on.

Rick Langer: So that's an interesting, when you're first talking about that, the suspicion began to grow in my mind that I bet a lot of people don't even know what their listening language is or their love language is. But they probably do know someone who they feel loves them or someone that they feel is a good listener. And so to tell stories about the listening, kind of describe who's the person, talk to me a little bit about it. It might be a strategy for figuring out what it is that really is the big deal, because I think a lot of us are not self-aware of what it is. We know it when we experience it, but to make a list, I don't know how many of us could really do it.

Tim Muehlhoff: But if we're going to have a family meeting about a hard topic, I get why you're itching just to get into it because you hate the conflict. I just want to get this resolved and let's be done with this. Our church is struggling with this issue. Let's just settle it and be done with it. But if we don't lay the ground rules and what Gottman is saying, if you can't even define what it feels like to be understood or listened to, you're going to kind of be chasing your own tail. So it might be really good-

Rick Langer: And people won't hear your advice and your input.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yeah. They won't hear your advice or input. So maybe have a meeting before the meeting. That's kind of what we say is the pre-conversation a little bit is let's sit and just hash this out, what we think. All right, so that's his prerequisite to communication is hammer that stuff out before we ever get there.

Now what's coming now is at least this is my estimation of his greatest, oh, but we're out of time, Rick. Oh, I'm so sorry. We never got to the... No, we have time. So in no particular order, these are the things that I just continually come to mind. Here's one that I think everybody should feel good about. He calls it perpetual problems. The majority of marital conflict falls into this category. 69% is what he calls perpetual problems, which means nobody's right, nobody's wrong. You're never going to resolve this issue. You're going to have to manage the issue. So here's a very famous quote. When choosing a long-term partner... By the way, I think we could swap in church.

Rick Langer: Oh, yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: Christian University. You'll inevitably be choosing a particular set of unsolvable problems that you'll be grappling with for the next 10, 20, or 50 years. Isn't that good? Hey, leave the place that you're working because there's too much workplace conflict. Leave the marriage you're in, there's too much conflict. Move out of a neighborhood that you think there's too much conflict. And Guttman is saying, you're moving into another neighborhood that has perpetual problems. So you're swapping one set of problems for another. So what problems do you think you want to live with? Because you're never going to find the perfect church, marriage, family or neighborhood.

Rick Langer: That's brilliant.

Tim Muehlhoff: Isn't that brilliant?

Rick Langer: So I am sitting here thinking as you describe that, I just was at a pastor's conference a few weeks ago and I was talking, [inaudible 00:16:03] you were talking about all kinds of people, about all kinds of situations. And that was one of the things that hit me is that everywhere... Some of these pastors were serving a congregation, they're bi-vocational and they're serving a congregation of 60 people in a town of 300 people. The nearest town in proximity to them is 400 miles away or whatever. It just incredibly remote rural area pastors. And you'd think that, I live in LA so we've got whatever, it's 16 million people rattling around here. And at the same time I'm sitting here listening to people describe problems in their apartment saying, oh, it's a different angle, but they've got their own bag. It is like everybody gets two carry-on bags and everybody fills them. There's different stuff in them. But no matter where you go, you'll be sitting beside a person who brought two carry-on bags and that's the bottom line.

Tim Muehlhoff: What a great analogy. So of course, before we were to get married, before we were to actually join a church, it'd be really good to know what's in the carry-on bags.

Rick Langer: Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: And you may think, well, I don't like what's in that bag. I'm going to go to another church. And yet you see their problems. You're like, okay, I need to go back to my other church because I'd much rather have those problems than what I'm facing right now. So I'm heading off to Detroit to speak at a Detroit marriage conference, and probably now is a really good time to say at the airing of this, the Detroit Lions are six and two and one of the best teams in the NFL. Please don't interrupt me, I'm on a roll. So what's been great for our marriage-

Rick Langer: I just want to know, Tim, how many years you've waited to say that with a straight face.

Tim Muehlhoff: Okay, first, I don't feel like you understand me at this moment. So what helps our marriage the most is you really do encounter couples. God bless them, they're there at a marriage conference, but they have issues that they're really struggling with. Honestly, every time Noreen and I walk out of that marriage conference, we hug each other and we'll say, I will take our problems.

Rick Langer: Thanks for what you put in the carry on baggage, honey.

Tim Muehlhoff: Right. Because I'll live with this. Hey, there's things we got to work on. We're not perfect. But it makes you appreciate that there are issues that people are dealing with that make ours look smaller, and I'll stay with the problems of my church compared to some places that we've gone to see the depth of the disagreement and they're about to explode. So Gottman's a great one. These are perpetual problems. And I just want people to know in his study, that's 69% of your problems are perpetual. You're not getting rid of them, you're managing them.

Rick Langer: I think about that for Sherry and I, and I'm like, yeah, that sounds about right for the number. If I think about the percentage every now and there's some new thing that comes up, but by and large, we have a pretty well worn road of things that we know we'll disagree on, and that's what you live with. When we wrote Winsome Conviction, we had a section, I think the chapter is titled Joint Pain.

Tim Muehlhoff: Oh, that's right.

Rick Langer: Joint pain in the Body of Christ. And the Joking summary was there's a great law of joints, and that is if joint, then joint pain. And it's a bit like this within a married couple where it's kind of like, look, you just have, you are a joint so to speak, you have two different members. You have this point that you unites you and there's just plain, guaranteed, there's going to be a certain amount of pain that is associated with a joint just like there is in a body. That's just part of the game. So, yeah. All right.

Tim Muehlhoff: And before we jump to the next one, you and I went to Ephesus.

Rick Langer: Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: And remember in Ephesus there was the Church of Ephesus. There wasn't the other Church of Ephesus.

Rick Langer: The Churches of Ephesus weren't there.

Tim Muehlhoff: The Churches of Ephesus. And you made it work because there was no better alternative. Artemis, right? The God of Artemis was there.

Rick Langer: Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: And so I think today we live in this illusion, hey, this church isn't working out. I'm literally going across the street because I imagine they've got their stuff together, so much better than our senior pastor our elders, or our church. And that could be an illusion that we probably need to get away from.

Rick Langer: Yeah. Good.

Tim Muehlhoff: So a quick question. What problems do you want to live with your entire life? If you're getting married, what problems do you want to live with? I'm teaching a class on marriage, Rick. So lateness, sarcasm, procrastination gets moody when facing stress, spending versus saving, struggles with social media. What problems do you want? Because you're going to have to pick somebody's carrying on luggage. Nobody walks onto that without carry on luggage. I think that's great. Okay, here's one. If you've listened to our podcast at all, you just need to know, this comes right from Gottman. That is how do you start a conversation, right?

Rick Langer: Soft startup maybe.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yep. The first 30 seconds of a conversation sets the entire tone of the conversation. Now, think about that. In the land of social media, we're honestly in a world of harsh startups. We just respond. We send that tweet, we just hit send very quickly. And so Gottman says, so if you begin a discussion that way... So this is Gottman's advice. If you start a discussion and you know it was a harsh startup, you might as well pull the plug on that conversation, take a breather and try to start the conversation over. So if I realize, oh, that got off on the, oh, got off the wrong foot, Rick. Dog gone. I probably shouldn't have said, you never do this. Let's take a breather and let's try this again later. Because Gottman would say you might not be able to salvage the conversation because it started off so poorly. How great is that for the Winsome Conviction Project of how we're trying to have conversations about race, gender, politics, and what we're probably doing in kind of a harsh way?

Rick Langer: Yeah. You know what it makes me think of? Because I've had the experience of being partway in and realize, oh, I got it wrong. I do a lot of home repair and things like that. And so you're trying to screw something in and you get the first two turns on your [inaudible 00:22:47] you have a cross threaded. And the only way to move forward is to move backwards. You have to back it off and restart. And sometimes it takes you four or five times and usually you've damaged the threads once you realize it sticks and it becomes harder and harder. But the first moment that you realize it's cross threaded, you just have to back it out.

And I do think there's a bit that you can do with that where you realize to acknowledge it. In other words, you know what, Tim, I think I started this conversation on the wrong foot. That's my fault. Let me stop and start by just listening to you and what you're feeling and thinking about this now. And it kind of combines the point we're talking about now with the listening thing we were just talking about to say, let me shift into the listening assure that this person knows that I'm hearing them mowed. Because I think that can help back things away from the harsh startup.

Tim Muehlhoff: So we have some friends, Ed and Amy, they speak for a family life marriage conferences. Actually, Dr. Ed [inaudible 00:23:47] been on the show talking about race. This is Ed and Amy. Amy does this great thing where she'll say, every once in a while, hey, you want to a do over? And Ed's like, yes, I would like to have a do over. Could I have two? Because that did not go well. But to develop the awareness of thinking and catching yourself of saying, you know what? I think that came across way too harsh. I do think I need to stop and say, hey, that was not the best way to bring this up and I didn't believe the best about you, and this maybe wasn't even the best timing. I think that's good. Interesting that Gottman says though, maybe it's better just to abandon it and start over. That could be an option as well to do that as well.

Rick Langer: Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: That's good. That cross threading, that's why I don't do home improvement. I have such a fear of cross threading. Here's one, remembering the past. When a marriage is not going well, history gets rewritten for the worst. Yeah. So when I ask couples, this is Gottman quote, "When I ask couples about their wedding or first year together, I can predict their chances of divorce because a couple who's not doing well will go back and even say on the honeymoon, I even knew I married the wrong person. On the honeymoon. It was horrible. We argued." And can't you imagine churches doing this? Saying the church has always been bad. I've never gotten along with people, you've never respected me, we've never welcomed people. You've never been interested in social justice. You've never X, Y, & Z. And Gottman says, how people talk about the past is a great indicator of whether they're going to have a future together.

Rick Langer: And same thing works with an institution. Biola's never open to discussions about race or discussions about sex. I hear these things. I teach a class on money, sex and power. I'm going, it's really hard for me to believe that there's nowhere on campus who talk about money, sex or power because I've been doing it for 20 years every semester. And so it's easy for me to drift into this pushback mode on that. And I think a lot of times what it is is a reflection of a person not having a great experience at a particular time and just what Gottman says. So you rewrite history or rewrite the universal norms. You retell that story. They talk about history being written by the winners. And you might add, it's rewritten by the losers. When you're feeling like you're losing in the relationship or in the situation, the story becomes retold.

Tim Muehlhoff: And we know this from the nation of Israel, right? In the old Testament, they were told to have stones of remembrance.

Rick Langer: Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: King David, he went and got Goliath's sword and kept it with him as a remembrance. Because you could see doing this with God in a heartbeat.

Rick Langer: Yeah. Pull the rocks out of Jordan River, put up your Eben-Ezer. Remember that the Lord has helped you this far.

Tim Muehlhoff: You have never provided for this family. Somebody else gets their prayers answered. You have never answered the prayers of this family or marriage or institutions.

Rick Langer:Yeah, I believe Eben-Ezer. It's a translation of the Hebrew, of stones, of remembrance. They're rocks of remembrance. And I think we need that because we rewrite all the little stuff. You put it on Kleenex, you put it on paper, you redo it. You need a stone of  remembrance for those good things.

Tim Muehlhoff: Which is not a bad suggestion when we go to work with churches and institutions to maybe have them create those stones of remembrance and to see how easily they can do it even in the midst of their conflict about race or politics. Hey first, what are the things this church has done well?

Rick Langer: Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: What are the things that this political party's done well in the past? And if we get into splitting, which is somebody's all bad, then we know that maybe our perspective's gotten distorted and we probably need to go back and address. Okay, this is my favorite.

Rick Langer: All right, I'm ready.

Tim Muehlhoff: And it's the hardest. It's hard. And we'll say next time, somewhere down the road, we will have to do what Gottman is most known for. And that's called the Four Horsemen.

Rick Langer: Of the Apocalypse. Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: Kind of a subtle one. Here's one. Gottman is extremely famous for saying, "The secret to a healthy relationship or marriage is not a secret. People just don't want to do it." So based on his research and something called negative recall bias, he has argued that for every one negative, it takes five positive interactions to overcome a negative interaction. Because he says those negative ones are like Velcro. They just stick to the soul. And so he says it takes five positives to overcome one negative. Now here's the good thing. Our motto, he says, for making marriage last is small things often. The small acts that demonstrate you care are powerful ways to enhance the positivity in your marriage. So if I do get off to a harsh startup, if I am kind of selfish or if I say something I shouldn't have said that was insulting or demeaning or not believing the best of you, Gottman says, it then takes five positive interactions. Now, I love his small things often.

Rick Langer: Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: It means when I get up to get ice cream, I ask you if you want ice cream. It means sending you a text. It means smiling when you get up in the morning. It means giving you a hug. It means cleaning the dishes, right? So those small things add up, but he said, but if you realize you've done a negative, then you need to really consciously think of five positives. Rick, imagine what a church would look like, an institution would look like if we really thought of the five to one as we go about our daily activities.

Rick Langer: Wow. Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff: Right. Social media is five negatives for every one positive.

Rick Langer: Yeah. Or more. Or more. I was actually looking at statistics on this about how evocative something is for getting clicked on or tweet, I think was a 10 to one factor that you click on the things that foster outrage or anger compared to things that you just say, oh, that's nice, which is kind of similar. And it is good. I appreciate the small things because I think part of it is that you're wanting to find the one big thing that outweighs the one bad thing, and it probably doesn't work that way. You're probably going to get a lot more bang for your buck, so to speak, trying to readjust things the effort you put into that by just identifying real authentic, even if they're small, but real authentic things that a person does you really appreciate. Identify it, own it, celebrate it.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yeah. So we close this episode with just a couple caveats. One, John Gottman is not a Christian, so there may be some things in his books that you have to read with discernment. But know that many Christians who write on marriage, write on relationships, write on conflict resolution, all quote Gottman because his research has been so impeccable over the years. So this is God's common grace, but have discernment.

Rick Langer: And as you do a lot, Tim, you'll find a lot of these same truths recorded in the book of Proverbs, which by the way also comes from a bunch of people who are, they're partly written by Solomon, but then there's a bunch of other people explicitly drawn from outside of the covenant community who kind of get baptized into scripture and proverbs. But it's ordinary human wisdom of relationships. And Gottman is a great example of saying, let me spell that out in specifics. You talk about a soft answer, turning away wrath. Well, there's a bunch of things that, well, what does that translate? Does it translate into giving positive affirmation? Does it translate into a slow startup? Those sorts of things I think come out a lot when you look at that.

Tim Muehlhoff: So you for sure need to have Gottman as part of your communication toolbox. He's one of the experts to read and consult. So we may do one in the future about, there is a Gottman concept we haven't touched on because it almost would be a whole podcast is what he calls the Four Horsemen of a marriage that is deteriorating or a relationship that is in a negative spiral. So maybe we'll do that. So if you go to our website and just in the search box, just type Gottman, you'll certainly get this one you just listened to and any future ones we would do and make sure Gottman's in the title.

Rick Langer: Well, thanks for joining us for this episode of the Winsome Conviction Podcast. We don't want to take you for granted. Much appreciate your faithfulness. Love to have you subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Google Play or whatever it is you get your podcasts. Thanks for joining us, and please pass a good little word along to friends or loved ones that you think would benefit from these podcasts.