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In both marriage and divorce, how a couple argues can have impacts

It is perfectly natural for married couples to get into arguments from time to time. However, it can be important for an individual who is in a marriage to be mindful of how exactly they act when arguing with their spouse. This is because certain types of behavior during spousal arguments could potentially be harmful to a marriage in the long-run and could make divorce more likely. 

What types of behavior can it be particularly important to stay away from when arguing with a spouse? The work of the well-known researcher Dr. John Gottman points to four arguing behaviors that seem to be especially damaging to relationships. These behaviors are referred to as the "4 horsemen of the apocalypse" by Gottman. 

These four behaviors are:

  • Stonewalling.
  • Contempt.
  • Defensiveness.
  • Criticism.

How damaging do you see these arguing behaviors as being to a marriage? What do you think is the most destructive arguing behavior for married couples?

Just as how a couple argues during a marriage can be impactful, so too can how a couple argues when they are divorcing. For one, the specific ways a couple with kids argues during their divorce could potentially have long-term impacts on their kids. Also, the extent to which a divorcing individual lets the ways they are arguing with their ex in the divorce and the feelings such arguments are giving rise to impact how they act in relation to important divorce issues could have the potential to impact things like the contentiousness, overall cost and length of their divorce. Thus, carefully keeping an eye on one's arguing behaviors can be very important for divorcing couples as well.  

Source: Mountain View Voice, "Predicting Divorce: How You Fight Matters," Caroline Fleck, May 31, 2015

 

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