Wow, this is some statistic! Men headed for divorce disregarded their wives' "bids" for affection and attention 82% of the time while men in happy marriages disregard their wives' "bids" only 19% of the time, according to John Gottman and research colleagues at the University of Washington.
What exactly is a "bid?" A bid can be a look, a gesture, a question, spoken words, a touch or any acknowledgement that asks for "connection" with the other. Looking for grand gestures may leave you feeling lonely and disconnected even in the context of important relationships. Bids are frequently small and mundane -- easily overlooked, in other words. A response to your partner's bid is a negative or positive response to the request for emotional connection. The more positive bids that you have accumulated by responding respectfully and lovingly to the other, the more money you will have in the "emotional bank account." The reserve comes in handy during hardship.
This tip is not just for couples. Bids improve any significant relationship including those with children, friends, colleagues and bosses.
Excerpts from The Relationship Cure, John M. Gottman, PhD