Marriage is a challenging journey, as couples strive to maintain their bond and keep it thriving. Frequent disagreements, arguments, and other issues often create distance between partners. Contrary to the image of constant harmony, marriage can be quite tumultuous.
Notably, John Gottman, a renowned American psychologist and relationship expert, has categorized marriages into five distinct types, each reflecting a unique style of interaction between spouses. Now, let’s explore these five types of marriages.
01 Validating couples
In this particular type of marriage, couples engage in interactions characterized by serenity. They maintain a sense of ease even during challenging situations and disagreements. Rather than rushing to judgments, they prioritize actively listening to their partner, even when confronted with significant issues.
Their composure remains evident even amidst heated conflicts. Should an argument arise, they swiftly acknowledge their actions and work to soothe each other’s emotions.
02 Volatile couples
These couples are highly emotional and exceptionally sensitive, making it challenging for them to navigate tough conversations within their marriage. Consequently, they refrain from criticizing or using harsh language towards one another.
Despite their emotional nature, they manage to stay deeply connected, ensuring that conflicts do not erode their bond. Moreover, they actively strive to repair any damage that may occur in their relationship.
03 Conflict avoiders
In this type of marriage, couples seldom engage in fights, tending to brush aside any issues that arise between them. Even in the face of significant disagreements, they prioritize focusing on the positive aspects. These couples establish clear boundaries that help minimize conflicts. Instead of arguing about their disagreements, they choose to discuss topics on which they share mutual agreement.
04 Hostile couples
Hostile couples tend to adopt a defensive stance during disagreements. Criticism and blame are common characteristics of their interactions, leading to frequent arguments and fights. Rather than making an effort to understand their spouse’s perspective, they become focused on defending their own position, which can pose a serious threat to the stability of the marriage.
05 Hostile and detached couples
In this type of marriage, couples engage in relentless and highly negative conflicts. Their arguments lack a constructive purpose, and they seem unwilling to seek resolutions. Instead, they resort to harsh and hurtful criticism, showing little readiness for compromise. Unfortunately, these patterns of behavior lead to the deterioration of their marriage, often resulting in divorce.
Here are the keys to a successful marriage
It’s common knowledge that a marriage built on love and respect doesn’t simply materialize; it requires effort from both spouses. Below are essential keys that need consistent attention each day to foster a successful marriage.
Maintain an open communication
Maintaining a healthy and thriving marriage relies on open and regular communication with your spouse. Honesty about your feelings is crucial, but always remember to convey your thoughts with kindness and respect. A key aspect of effective communication is being an attentive listener, making an effort to comprehend your partner’s wants and needs.
Express gratitude for your spouse’s presence in your life
Show genuine appreciation for one another, your relationship, your family, and the life you share together. Take the time to express gratitude when your partner cooks a meal, assists with the kids’ homework, or handles the grocery shopping. Consider setting aside a few minutes each evening to share at least one thing you each appreciated about the other during the day.
Spend more quality time together
Amidst work and family responsibilities, it’s easy for the romance to fade. Prioritize planning special dates, whether going out or simply spending quality time at home. If you have children, arranging play dates for them can create opportunities for you to relax, engage in meaningful conversations, and relish each other’s company.
Allocate time for personal pursuits
Recognize the importance of personal time alongside the time spent as a couple. Everyone needs moments to recharge, reflect, and indulge in individual interests. Often, these moments can get lost amidst the commitments of marriage, especially if children are involved.
Engage in activities that enrich your life, such as going out with friends, taking a class, or volunteering. Embrace these experiences, as they can lead to a deeper appreciation for your spouse when you reunite.
Accept and respect disagreements
It’s natural for couples to have differing opinions, and it’s crucial to handle disagreements with fairness and respect. Take the time to genuinely listen to your spouse’s perspective. Refrain from succumbing to anger or excessive frustration.
If necessary, step away from the discussion to regain composure, and then revisit the issue when both of you are in a calmer state of mind. Embrace the spirit of compromise, allowing each of you to give a little in resolving problems.
Researcher and marriage therapist, Dr. John Gottman, has discovered that criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling pose significant threats to a marriage. Couples who engage in these destructive behaviors are more likely to face divorce.
On the other hand, couples who stay together have learned how to handle conflicts without hostility and take responsibility for their actions. They respond promptly to each other’s attempts to reconcile after fights and prioritize repairing the relationship.
Learn the art of forgiveness
In any marriage, mistakes are inevitable. There may be moments when your spouse inadvertently hurts your feelings or upsets you, possibly triggering anger or even fury. However, it’s essential to address these emotions, release them, and move forward. Avoid dwelling on past grievances and learn to forgive, as holding onto resentment can be detrimental to the relationship.
Nurture your commitment
Maintain a steadfast dedication to your spouse, your family, and the life you’ve built together. Offer unwavering emotional support and assistance in the ordinary aspects of daily life. As time passes, both you and your spouse will experience personal growth and changes, but by adhering to these principles, you can foster a successful marriage that endures through the years.
The 5 types of marriage and how to make them successful conclusion
Making a marriage succeed requires continuous effort, dedication, and open communication. Just remember that a successful marriage is a journey that requires ongoing effort, patience, and understanding from both partners. It’s about fostering a loving and supportive partnership built on mutual respect and shared values.