December 03, 2012


I LOVE that quote because it's so true!

Healthy Relationship Quiz - HERE

I want to share part of a really good article I came across about relationships. It has some great tips & advice:

There are four ways of communicating which are toxic to marriage. What Gottman describes ‘The “Four Riders of the Apocalypse’, any one of which, if it’s a repeating feature of a couples communication, is a big predictor of a not so happy ever after!

So what are the Four Apocalyptic Riders you need to steer clear of?

Evil Rider One – Contempt:

You can show contempt in all kinds of ways from rolling your eyes, cursing, sarcasm, and name calling. Some people have a PhD in contemptuous communication. But the expression of contempt is toxic to relationships. Gottman (4) found that if the expression of contempt was a regular feature in the start-up phase of a disagreement, the prognosis for relationship survival were poor. For example he found women who looked contemptuous whilst their husband was talking were six times more likely to be divorced two years later.

Evil Rider Two – Defensiveness:

“What do you mean by that!!” or “Why are you always picking on me?” when someone really isn't is a sign of defensiveness. Being too defensive can do to your relationship what sulfuric acid can do to a beautiful oil painting.

amenIf one partner immediately starts shouting as soon as their er… “loved one” even gently broaches a subject then the local divorce lawyer may be in for some new business shortly.

Feeling overly attacked or threatened can be a deal breaker as it makes you, well, hard to live and feel intimate with.

A partner may have gotten into the habit of being defensive because of having been genuinely relentlessly criticized which brings us along to the next marriage deal breaker:

Evil Rider Three: Don’t criticize but do Compliment

Want to sever your relationship completely, destroy it beyond repair? Then keep on criticizing. The humble criticism has destroyed more marriages than you can shake a divorce lawyer’s fee at. A criticism, as opposed to a complaint is an attack on the whole person.
"your butt looks good in those pants"

For example: “You are such an idiot! you forgot the milk!” implies they’re always stupid in all contexts rather than they did something that was not so bright in this instance.

A complaint, on the other hand is limited. It’s directed at one off behaviors rather than the core identity of your partner. “I’m upset you forgot the milk this morning! That’s not like you” is a complaint not a criticism because it’s specific an not a attack on their core being.

People in happy marriages feel appreciated, loved, and respected. Drive this evil rider out of town by reminding your spouse of their talents, strengths, and what you love and like about them much more. No one likes to feel constantly under fire. Mind you if someone has been under fire a lot they are more likely to run and hide:

Evil Rider Four: Withdrawal or ‘stonewalling’

Emotionally withdrawing or stonewalling, ‘closing your ears’ or ‘shutting off’ when a partner is complaining or just trying to be intimate is another huge predictor of breakdown. There are lots of ways to make ourselves absent even if we are in the same room.

Men may typically do this in the face of what they perceive to be nagging. Gottman found that whilst criticizing was generally more of a female trait, men used stonewalling more. But the withdrawal can become its own problem if it becomes habit or is used in response to attempts at intimacy from your partner.

Everyone needs space, but never responding to an emotional issue leaves the other partner out in the cold.

So these are things to avoid or at least minimize.   
Go HERE to read the rest of this article.

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