Goldie Hawn has been with Kurt Russell for 34 years – and now, in a candid interview, she has revealed the secret to their long-lasting relationship.
No, it’s not about seeking perfection, or a state of loved-up bliss: all couples have their rough patches, everybody disagrees sometimes, and fighting is inevitable. Hawn is incredibly firm about that.
Instead, the 71-year-old says that couples need to acknowledge the need to argue – and make sure that they conduct their disagreements in a good and healthy way.
“You have to learn how to work your way through an argument and be skilful about it and resolve it,” she told The Mirror.
“Things happen during a marriage or a union, things that are said that shouldn’t have been said, or things that are done that shouldn’t have been done, or you feel neglected.”
Hawn added: “If two people really want to be together there's something to cherish, so you keep it fresh by surprising each other. Go to a hotel room, go take a hike. Make something happen that's unusual.”
So how does one argue in the correct way?
Well, John Gottman, a professor of psychology who specialises in martial stability, has revealed that we need to avoid “the four horsemen of the apocalypse” when fighting with our partners.
- Criticism (framing complaints in the context of a defect in your partner)
- Contempt (name calling, eye rolling, sneering, mockery, and hostile humour)
- Defensiveness (making excuses to explain away your actions)
- Stonewalling (withdrawing from a conversation, even if physically present)
Gottman also encourages couples to stop using the word “you” in arguments, and choosing instead to use the word “I” – and to work on their marriage each and every single day, rather than just when it is in trouble.
“Reunite at the end of the day and talk about how it went,” he says. This will help to bleed off stress from the day, and stop it from negatively affecting your relationship.
Hawn – who says she prefers to remain as Russell’s girlfriend rather than become his wife (“we have independence, but two pillars hold up the house”) – also suggests that couples should accept the fact that they are going to find other people attractive during their relationship.
Instead of burying those feelings, Hawn suggests that couples take a leaf out of her and 66-year-old Russell’s book: open up, be honest, and recognise fleeting crushes as just that.
Hawn explained: “I'm sure I've been party to it, and Kurt's been - we're all normal this way. It's like, ‘You really liked that guy, didn't you?’ Or the woman says, ‘You were looking at her.’ My answer would be, ‘Of course. Why not? She's beautiful.’
“Would you want a man who doesn't look? Who doesn't feel inspired by the beauty or the curves of a woman's body? Or the way she is?”
The Snatched star added: “I mean, come on. We're human beings.”
Images: Rex Features