For more than 40 years, the founders of the renowned Gottman Institute, John and Julie Gottman, have been studying what makes marriages work. The husband–wife duo has counseled couples from every racial and ethnic group and social class. 

They’ve seen some clients skillfully solve their problems and others get stuck in conflicts. “I’ve found that we can help 70 to 75 percent of these couples,” John Gottman, PhD, reports.

What separates the remaining 25 to 30 percent from the rest? Trust issues

A measure of the quality of a relationship — between individuals, between groups, and between governments — trust makes life more predictable and working with others easier. “I started to see their conflicts like a fan opening up, and every region of the fan was a different area of trust,” he explains. “Can I trust you to be there and listen to me when I’m upset? Can I trust you to choose me over your mother, over your friends? To not take drugs? Can I trust you to not cheat on me and be sexually faithful? Can I trust you to respect me?” 

Read the more on how trust is hard wired here