Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Four Horsemen

According to relationship expert, John Gottoman, the 4 horsemen may have the opportunity to take over your marriage or relationship.  They make there presence known in this order: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. 

Horseman 1: Criticism. The big difference between a complaint and a criticism is this.  A compliant only addresses the specific action at which your spouse failed.  A criticism adds on some negative words about your partner's character or personality.

Horseman 2: Contempt Sarcasm and cynicism are types of contempt.  Other examples would be name-calling, eye-rolling, mockery, and hostile humor.  This is poisonous and leads to more conflict.

Horseman 3: Defensiveness. This is a way of really blaming your partner.  It really escalates the conflict to another level.

Horseman 4: Stonewalling. Eventually a partner begins to tune the other person out, which is arrival of the 4th horseman at it's best. A partner disengages from the conversation or fight and also avoids his/her marriage.

If you have one or all of the four horseman in your marriage or relationship, you may need to seek professional help.  Please give one of our professional counselors at call 954-800-0108.

John Gottman & Nan Silver (1999): The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work

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