The Four Horsemen
Taken together, Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling have a seriously negative impact on couple relationships, and Gottman’s research suggest that they can begin to create a negative cycle that becomes very difficult for couples to escape. So, if you notice any of these patterns becoming a regular occurrence in your interactions with your partner, consider taking immediate action to start to reverse the trend. It’s possible to change, but it’ll take some intentional effort. We’ll discuss some ways to reverse negative conflict patterns in your relationship in a few minutes, but first, let’s do a quick assessment to check in on your learning so far. After that, we’ll look at a case study so you can start to apply the information about couple conflict that we’ve discussed so far.