In Marriage, Worse First Can Mean Better Later

Why facing stressful life events early in coupledom can lead to longevity

Russell Underwood / Corbis

Just a few months before John Gottman, a leading American marriage researcher and psychologist, was to be married, his father died, leaving Gottman to contend with overwhelming loss during what should have been one of the happiest times of his life. No one would have blamed him for putting the wedding on hold. But in the end, Gottman says, the strain of dealing with his grief made him that much more devoted to his future bride. "My wife helped me through it," he says. "I was able to cope with the loss, and it was really a bonding experience."

Few...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!