Learning to Manage Dispute in Relationships: Part II

Welcome to Dr. D’Arienzo’s $14.97 premarital course, where you can save money on your Florida license and avoid the three day wait! We here at D’Arienzo Psychology are excited to help you take this next step toward marital happiness and success, and want to help deepen your relationship with your future spouse.

Last week we explored Criticism, the first of the four horsemen to be aware of when learning how to manage dispute in marriage. Check out Part II of what we have to say about Managing Dispute and marriage below:  

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Stonewalling, the second of the four horsemen, is exactly what it sounds like. When learning to manage dispute in relationships, it is important to understand that stonewalling is a failure or refusal to discuss or communicate about a problem or disagreement. Stonewalling frequently makes the other partner feel as though they are “talking to a brick wall.” Dr. Gottman’s research revealed that 85% of men utilized stonewalling to resolve disputes even if they were unaware of how harmful this tactic was. To deal with intense emotions, men frequently distance themselves from others. A result of this conduct over time has been discovered to be “parallel living,” therefore keep in mind that leaving from an argument won’t end it. Parallel living causes one to withdraw from a relationship, making it open to other influences. When the non-stonewaller starts pursuing the stonewaller about a problem, it also causes more friction and dramatic meltdowns. At some point, the stonewaller lashes out in anger, which frequently results in the pair having an unfortunate occurrence. Following are some countermeasures to stonewalling: Avoid the need to emotionally distance yourself from your mate. Find the good in one another. Allow yourself to have happy experiences. Even if it’s simply a nod or a brief remark, don’t neglect your spouse and respond in some way. Additionally, it’s critical to take care of yourself in order to avoid stonewalling. Because we fear conflict, we frequently put up walls. Conflict causes anxiety for many of us. In order to better manage the anxiety of dealing with difficult issues, it is important to practice good self care like getting a good night sleep, exercising frequently, and maintaining a healthy diet. Avoidance is okay in a relationship as long as you are avoiding stonewalling.

Stay tuned to learn about the other two horseman: defensiveness and contempt.

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