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The Relationship Between Interpersonal Communication And Marital Satisfaction

880 words - 4 pages

John Gottman in his book argues that “a lasting marriage results from a couple’s ability to resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship (p. 28)”. In his arguments, John explores the relationship between interpersonal communication and marital satisfaction. By doing so, he advances two hypotheses aimed at addressing problems within a relationship. The first hypothesis is that there is an existing private messaging system between couples, which enhances communication in a healthy marriage. The second hypothesis is a dissatisfied married couple exhibits skill deficit in communication between them.
The second hypothesis is by no means new. In fact, it accentuates ...view middle of the document...

The next one is defensiveness (p. 31) which is a way of blaming a partner instead of taking responsibility for one’s own behaviour which leads to more negativity. The last horseman is stonewalling (p. 33) in which a partner gets disengaged and fails to acknowledge his/her partner. In most cases, men stonewall and withdraw more often and women are more likely to criticize.
In most cases, couples get into heated arguments about crucial issues. This sometimes leads to anger which is a dangerous and destructive emotion as it is connected to aggression. However, it is considered as perfectly normal for a couple to express irritability, pain, frustration and disgust. According to Gottman, anger should be taken as a way of saying “Something is important to me, so please pay attention”. Anger in itself is not bad as it does not necessarily make the relationship bad, nor does it make it any better. The important thing is the way in which the anger is expressed.
To deal with conflicts in a relationship, Gottman proposes that a couple should increase the positive interaction between them, “By reviving the positive feelings that still lie deep below, you can vastly improve your marriage” (p. 67). He argues that if the partners have a positive feeling towards each other, they will have no problem resolving their conflicts as they will have found a way of accepting their unsolvable conflicts. In his argument, Gottman proposes a number of principles for realizing his “increase positive interactions” approach.
The first principle, enhancing your love maps (p. 47), shows that love resides in the details. According to Gottman, happy couples tend to be familiar with each other...

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