The book is divided into three sections. Part 1, Research and Theory, begins with a frank exposition of the myths of what marital therapy can and cannot do. Citing high relapse rates in couples within a year or two of treatment, Dr. Gottman calls for a more scientific and rigorous approach to marital therapy outcome research and decries reliance on therapist ratings and customer satisfaction alone. He explains his theory of the core triad of balance in marriage, which includes interactive behavior, perception, and physiology. Of his so-called Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling—contempt is a significant predictor of divorce and is essentially zero in stable and happy marriages. In this section, Dr. Gottman also describes what he means by the sound marital house: marital friendship and its ability to create positive affect in nonconflict contexts; positive sentiment override, which facilitates repair during conflict discussions; conflict regulation, i.e., the ability to establish dialogue with perpetual problems, to use basic skills, and to offer physiological soothing; and the ability to create a shared meaning system.