What_makes_marriage_work

What_makes_marriage_work - What makes marriage work It's...

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What makes marriage work? It's how you resolve conflict that matters most. By: John Gottman , Nan Silver Research indicates you can get mad as hell or avoid conflict altogether. But the positivity must outweigh the negativity by five to one. If you are worried about the future of your marriage or relationship, you have plenty of company. There's no denying that this is a frightening time for couples. More than half of all first marriages end in divorce; 60 percent of second marriages fail. What makes the numbers even more disturbing is that no one seems to understand why our marriages have become so fragile. In pursuit of the truth about what tears a marriage apart or binds it together, I have found that much of the conventional wisdom--even among marital therapists--is either misguided or dead wrong. For example, some marital patterns that even professionals often take as a sign of a problem--such as having intense fights or avoiding conflict altogether--I have found can signify highly successful adjustments that will keep a couple together. Fighting, when it airs grievances and complaints, can be one of the healthiest things a couple can do for their relationship. If there's one lesson I've learned in my years of research into marital relationships--having interviewed and studied more than 200 couples over 20 years--it is that a lasting marriage results from a couple's ability to resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship. Many couples tend to equate a low level of conflict with happiness and believe the claim "we never fight" is a sign of marital health. But I believe we grow in our relationships by reconciling our differences. That's how we become more loving people and truly experience the fruits of marriage. Although there are other dimensions that are telling about a union, the intensity of argument seems to bring out a marriage's true colors. To classify a marriage, in my lab at the University of Washington in Seattle, I look at the frequency of fights, the facial expressions and physiological responses (such as pulse rate and amount of sweating) of both partners during their confrontations, as well as what they say to each other and in what tone of voice they interact verbally. But there's much more to a successful relationship than knowing how to fight well. Not all stable couples resolve conflicts in the same way, nor do they mean the same thing by "resolving" their conflict. In fact, I have found that there are three different styles of problem solving into which healthy marriages tend to settle: o Validating. Couples compromise often and calmly work out their problems to mutual satisfaction as they arise. o Volatile. Conflict erupts often, resulting in passionate disputes. o Conflict-avoiding. Couples agree to disagree, rarely confronting their differences head-on.
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What_makes_marriage_work - What makes marriage work It's...

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