Why Marriages Succeed Or Fail
In Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, author Richard Gage challenges conventional wisdom on marriage and divorce. He shows that marital satisfaction is not the most important indicator of marital stability. Moreover, emotional divorce is a precursor to actual divorce. Arguing can actually be a healthy sign of marital stability.
Distance and isolation cascade
A distance and isolation cascade in marriages can happen when a marriage is in a downward spiral. It starts with an unchecked flooding of physiological and emotional energies that make it difficult for partners to listen effectively. This state prevents engaged listening, which is essential for productive communication. The result is an emotional distance and disengagement. This causes each partner to become increasingly self-contained, leading them to live parallel lives and lose emotional intimacy.
Luckily, the four horsemen are not the end of the line. Instead, partners seize on powerful thoughts and beliefs that they have about each other. If these thoughts go unchecked, they lead to the final marital cascade: distance and isolation. If you know how to recognize and challenge these thoughts, you can start to regain control of your marriage.
Many couples learn that their marriages are no longer what they once were. In fact, many are considering divorce. The stress and isolation of being stuck at home makes it difficult to stay engaged in a healthy relationship. This isolation can exacerbate personality conflicts and make your partner’s quirks intolerable.
Distorted thinking is the root cause of many marital problems. It can lead to increased levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. It also reduces self-esteem and resilience. Thankfully, there are ways to correct this thinking. Let’s look at four common examples.
Using cognitive dissonance to create distance between oneself and their thoughts is one effective way to address this problem. It also helps to be open and honest about your own thoughts. This will help your partner see how you see things. You can use this tool to discuss issues with your partner without making it appear that you are judging them.
Distorted thinking can lead to depression and hopelessness. It can even lead to suicidal thoughts. This type of thinking is also known as catastrophizing. People with this distorted mindset often see one unpleasant event as evidence of all the negative aspects of a situation.
The ability to validate the feelings of your partner is an essential skill in a successful marriage. This skill requires a level of self-awareness and an ability to understand and grow. Many couples fail to recognize when they are invalidating their partner’s feelings. Often, invalidating behaviors are not intentional and are triggered by a situation.
A good way to demonstrate emotional validation is to understand your partner’s situation and remain interested in their story. This can help your partner feel better instantly and makes them feel that they’re not alone. A good way to show this is by nodding your head and showing your partner you’re listening. This will make your partner feel that you value their feelings, which is important for any relationship.
A key element of avoiding conflict in marriages is to listen to your spouse’s needs. Many people feel anxiety when they are in the middle of a conflict. Providing them with time to calm down and gather their thoughts can be a huge help. Moreover, it allows them to approach the conversation from a relaxed state of mind. Also, when you are in a conflict, it’s important to recognize your own behavior. Oftentimes, conflict is caused by the desire to hook or manipulate another person.
As children, many people were raised in homes where conflict was unwelcome. For example, voicing an opinion may have resulted in being slapped or yelled. Or it may have meant that a parent withdrew love or attention from them. Likewise, the opposite reaction could have been criticism or dismissive.
Learning how to deal with conflict is the key to a happy marriage. You should never try to avoid conflict completely, but it’s crucial to find ways to resolve disagreements in a healthy way. A healthy way to resolve differences between the two partners is to find ways to work together instead of avoiding conflict.