Category Archives: Relationships

Information about relationships

Marriage Relationships and Their Healthy Characteristics: Part 2

Marriage Relationships and Their Healthy Characteristics: Part 2

In Part 1, we reviewed characteristics of a healthy marriage.  Unfortunately, when these elements break down, the friendship erodes and the relationship can become very negative. The information that I am sharing with you is based on the work that Dr. John Gottman discussed in his book, “The Science of Trust.”

One of the hallmarks of a marriage in trouble is an increase in negativity.

In fact, it is fairly common in troubled relationships for the negativity to become so permeating that even neutral and positive interactions are viewed through a negative lens. Partners become less receptive to one another’s attempts for connection and either ignore them or express irritation in response.

Unhealthy couples have difficulty managing conflict.

Much of this is due to the increased negativity in the relationship. It’s also common for one or both partners in a troubled relationship to become flooded easily. Conflicts usually escalate into destructive arguments fueled by what Dr. Gottman calls the Four Horseman: criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. The most destructive of the four Horseman is contempt.  Contempt happens when one partner takes a position of superiority over the other. When contempt is present, one or both of the partners is not respecting the other. Contempt is the clearest predictor that a couple is likely to divorce.

If these dysfunctional characteristics seem familiar to your marriage, then it’s time to take some marital medicine.  In Part 3, I’ll discuss some options for getting your marriage back on track.

Written By: Jackie Dunagan, LAMFT

 

Mother’s Day When You’ve Lost Your Mom

Mother’s Day When You’ve Lost Your Mom

Losing a loved one is always an incredibly painful experience. It’s not uncommon that even months or years after a loved one has died that you periodically experience grief as though it happened only last week. Often, anniversaries and holidays, like Mother’s Day, are some of the most difficult times for those who have lost…

Marriage Relationships and Their Healthy Characteristics: Part 1

Marriage Relationships and Their Healthy Characteristics: Part 1

If you’ve been married for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced a few ups and downs in your relationship.  But do you ever wonder about the health of your marriage?  In his book, “The Science of Trust,” Dr. John Gottman discusses that, even though healthy marriages can vary greatly in how they look, they…

Grief That Doesn’t Fit In: Part 2

Grief That Doesn’t Fit In: Part 2

In part 1 of this series, we took a look at disenfranchised grief. Disenfranchised grief is the category that covers grief that doesn’t have a socially accepted place to be recognized or expressed. Basically, it is the “ugly duckling” grief that people feel they have to hide because others won’t understand it, will dismiss it…

Marriage and Kids: How Does That Work?

Marriage and Kids: How Does That Work?

Ready for a surprise? Multiple studies have found that most couples experience a decline in marriage satisfaction during the first three years after a baby is born. Now that doesn’t mean that the parents aren’t thrilled about their new little one, it means that the couple’s emotional connectedness, passion and romance, often to take a…

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