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Gottman's Theory on Married Couples and Relational Maintenance Theory (Essay Sample)

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The paper was all about discussing Gotman's and relational maintenance theories.
The sample is all about the discussion of Gottman's and relational maintenance theories

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Gottman’s Theory on Married Couples and Relational Maintenance Theory
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Gottman’s Theory on Married Couples and Relational Maintenance Theory
Couples who get married through a wedding usually make promises to love, treat each other right and make their partners happy until death do them apart. However, usually, these promises end up unfilled. The latter results from stiff disagreements that emerge in the married life, and when the couple shows weakness in solving these marriage problems, they might end up paralyzing the marriage leading to a divorce. Gottman, an American psychological researcher and a clinician has extensively worked on developing divorce prediction and marital stability mechanisms. Gottman suggests possible measures that can make a married couple happy and succeed through the marriage life. He proposes that, during a disagreement, gentleness should be upheld to enhance a soft start-up in solving the fight as harshness will only deteriorate the condition. Gottman’s and relational maintenance theories are discussed in this paper.
Validating, Volatile and Conflict-avoiding Couples
Couples who are validators are observed to fight more politely. They seem calm during conflicts and behave in a collaborative way as they work through their troubles. They are observed to compromise more frequently and seek to work their troubles out consistently for mutually satisfying outcomes. These couples have mutual respect for each other that minimizes the levels of their arguments (Silver, 2016). Conflicts are observed to erupt among the volatile couples and they are fought on grand scale. These couples encounter passionate disputes and numerous arguments. Volatile couples fight openly but tend to exhibit an element of fondness for each other. Their recurrent arguments are at equilibrium with positive interactions such as smiling, laughing, and touching (Silver, 2016). Conflict avoiding couples are observed to hardly argue leading to the inferences that they have a tendency of avoiding confrontation at all cost (Silver, 2016). These couples unanimously agree to disagree and barely confront their differences that they fear could end them up in deadlocked discussions.
The Ratio of Positivity to Negativity in a Marriage
Dr. Gottman conducted research to determine the amount of time that couples spend fighting and compared this to the amount of time these couples spend interacting positively. Actions that Gottman terms as ‘fighting’ in marriage include criticism, hostility, anger, and hurting each other’s feelings (Silver, 2016). By 'interacting positively,' Gottmann referred to actions like being friendly to one another, kind, affectionate, and empathic (Silver, 2016). Dr. Gottman realizes that there is a unique and magical ratio of 5:1 that prevails in the amount of positivity to the negativity in a stable marriage. The ratio is regardless of whether the marriage is marked by volatility, validation, or conflict avoidance (Silver, 2016). Gottman observes that when a spouse does one hurting thing to their partner, they should make up with five good things to enhance pain elimination in the spouse. Gottman’s research also reveals that for a marriage that is very likely to end up in a divorce, the ratio of time spent in positive interaction to the time spent fighting is 0.8:1 (Silver, 2016). A healthy marriage should provide a conducive environment for fun, humor, affection, and intimacy.
The Four Horses of Apocalypse
The four horses of Apocalypse in Dr. Gottman’s research include criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Criticism in married couples involves the spouse complaining that their partner’s personality is defective (Silver, 2016). For example, for a couple where the wife is not happy about her husband’s spending behavior, it is normal for her to complain about this behavior. However, her complaints might criticize the husband for his personality and blame him for being selfish, evidenced by his spending behavior. Contempt usually follows criticism where the spouse lacks respect for their partner to the extent of insulting and psychologically abusing them (Silver, 2016). Defensiveness occurs after criticism where both partners feel victimized and none is willing to take responsibility for making things right (Silver, 2016). Here, a spouse meets a complaint from their partner with a counter-complaint. Stonewalling follows after defensiveness, where one partner shows total disregard and assumes the other during an argument (Silver, 2016). The partner abandons the conversation and opts to remain silent. Dr. Gottman realizes that men respond to disagreements with escalated psychological stress signs than women (Silver, 2016). Consequently, men are observed to be more likely to stonewall than females in an attempt to remain neutral and avoid conflict.
Relationship between Relational Maintenance in the Digital Age and Gottman’s research
The digital age employs the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) to maintain interpersonal relationships. However, couples have been observed to utilize specific media channels to satisfy their relationship’s needs (Eden & Veksler, 2016).CMC has made it easier for many couples to create complex, intimate disclosure decisions (Eden & Veksler, 2016). For example, offline text messages are on the rise as it gives a partner time to think through an intimate request by their spouse and ultimately ends up giving the best feedback (Eden & Veksler, 2016). Also, numerous couples have been observed to engage in online video chats where they can easily see their partners' facial expressions on the other end. The latter enables the spouses to negotiate carefully on the disclosures meant to escalate intimacy with their spouse (Eden & Veksler, 2016).In relation to Gottman’s theory, the relational maintenance theory in the digital age provides spouses such as the conflict-avoiding couples with a CMC channel where they can discuss burning issues with their spouses without necessarily engag

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