Marriage Enrichment with Dynamic Catholic

In the last thirty years we have made tremendous advances in our understanding of how romantic relationships, and marriages work. A leading researcher in marriage relationships has documented that 69% of relationship conflict is about unresolvable, perpetual problems. This sounds like bad news.

Dr. John Gottman, notes that 94% of the time the way a discussion starts determines how it will end. Poor communication and marital conflict are only bad news, however, if we accept this as normal and we do nothing to change this situation.

Of course some conflict in our relationships is inevitable, but we can work to manage conflict in a healthy, positive way. We can actually use our conflicts to grow closer to the other person.

What if you were told that modern researchers have discovered four things which literally make or break a relationship? Gottman’s research has shown that if a relationship has four key behaviors, and there is no intervention to change, the majority of these relationships will end in divorce after just 5.6 years. Astoundingly, Gottman has demonstrated that this prediction has a 90 % rate of accuracy.

Gottman calls these four negative behaviors the Four Horsemen: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Each one of these is a type of relationship poison. Fortunately, there is an antidote for each of these problems. Sadly, the average couple with problems waits 6 years before seeking help.

To learn more about the Four Horsemen and their antidotes, view the following 5-minute video by clinical psychologist, Gregory Bottaro, speaking on behalf of Dynamic Catholic.


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