Each month, the SELF Well-Read Book Club highlights a timely, delightful, and crucial book on a subject that helps readers live better lives. So far, we’ve covered everything from the politics of running to the state of modern motherhood.
All relationships involve conflict. You want one thing for dinner, your partner wants another—or maybe you’re tired of being the one who makes dinner. Perhaps you said something, well, not so nice, or your S.O. doesn’t want to hang out with your friends, or you want more time alone. You know the deal: In one way or another, conflict comes up in partnerships frequently.
That’s where the Gottmans come in: Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman and Dr. John Gottman—the beloved, world-renowned psychologist couple best-known for their theory on the importance of bids in a relationship—are back with their newest book, Fight Right: How Successful Couples Turn Conflict Into Connection. We’re thrilled to announce it as our February SELF Well-Read Book Club pick, because the reality is that disagreement is just as much a part of couple-hood as assorted chocolates are a part of Valentine’s Day.
Fight Right is full of fascinating research from the Love Lab (the University of Washington facility, modeled to look like an apartment, where the Gottmans conduct many of their studies with real-life couples), helpful how-tos you can try out at home, and even comforting examples from the Gottmans’s own relationship. (They’ve been married for, oh, only 37 years.) Along the way, you’ll cover “the five fights everyone has” and learn new techniques to work through them. You’ll finally get an answer to whether it’s bad to go to bed angry, and rethink everything you’ve ever known about what it means to “be right” or “win” an argument. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll start to accept that there are some things you and your partner will never, ever agree upon—and that is perfectly okay.
Grab a copy below to read along with us. Also be sure to check out our Q&A with the Gottmans here, where we chat about everything from the most common subject couples fight about to the mind-blowing effects bad fights can have on your physical health.
‘Fight Right: How Successful Couples Turn Conflict into Connection’ by Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman and Dr. John Gottman
Originally Appeared on SELF