1. Volatile Couples
For volatile couples, conflicts erupt easily, and are fought on grand scale, but of course, making up is even greater! These couples have passionate disputes, and frequent and passionate arguments.
According to Gottman, while volatile fight openly, they argue with a lot of wit, display fondness for each other, and have a great time making up. It seems that their volcanic arguments are just a small part of their warm and loving relationship.
It appears that passion and fighting lead to better relationships which include making up, laughing, and affection. So despite the level of their argument, they still resolve their differences.
Volatile couples see themselves as equals, and exhibit individuality and independence in their marriage. They are open with each other about their positive and negative feelings, and their marriages tend to be passionate and exciting.
Gottman’s research indicates that their frequent arguments are balanced out by their positive interactions such as touching, smiling, paying complements, and laughing, and so on. So these couples stick together for the long haul. 2. Validating Couples
Couples who are validators, fight more politely. They are calmer during conflicts, and behave like collaborators as they work through their problems. These couples often compromise, and seek to work out their problems steadily for mutually satisfying results. The mutual respect that they have for each other, limits the amount and level of their arguments.
The emphasis is on communication and compromise, so even if they have heated discussion, they validate each other. They do this by expressing empathy for, and understanding each other’s point of view. Very evident, is their display of care, calm, and self-control even when they discussing hot topics.
Validating couples try to persuade their partners, and find a common ground in the end. During conflict, they let each other know they value their opinions, and see their emotions as legitimate. In disagreement, validating couples, let their partners know they still consider their feelings, even though they don’t necessarily agree with their position. 3. Conflict-Avoiding Couples
Conflict-avoiding couples rarely argue, and it seems that they avoid confrontation at all cost. When they discuss their conflicts they do so mildly and carefully, as they don’t feel that there is much to be gained from getting openly angry with each other.
These couples agree to disagree, and rarely confront their differences, that could end up in deadlocked discussions. According to Gottman, conflict-avoiding couples believe that their common ground and values are much greater than their differences, and this makes their differences insignificant or easy to accept.
These couples have an avoidant style of marriage, so rather than discussing a conflict with their partners, some spouse often try to fix the situation on their own, or hope that with the passage of time the problems will work themselves out. 4. Hostile Couples...
Hostile couples argue often and hotly, and their arguments are caustic and harmful. Insults, putdowns, and sarcasms prevail when they argue. These couples fail to maintain the 5 to 1 ratio of positivity to negativity in their conflicts, and there is clearly more negative than positive in the relationships.
Hostile couples’ discussions are characterized by too much criticisms, contempt, defensiveness, and withdrawal. Their communication is unhealthy, they don’t listen to what each other is saying, and conflicts are dangerous to their relationships.
Some hostile couples try to actively address their disagreements, but this is usually ineffective. Others remain more detached, uninvolved, and critical of each other, with brief spurts of attack and defensiveness. These couples are meaner to each other than the other three types of couples..