Saturday, March 27, 2004

Opposites may attract but likesies last

The Three Best Types of Marriages Why does one marriage last 50 years, while another dissolves in just five years? It's not about happiness. It's about conflict resolution. John M. Gottman of the Relationship Research Institute and the University of Washington conducted a 20-year study with more than 600 married couples and carefully plotted how husbands and wives interacted with each other, reports The Associated Press. Based on these observations, he has identified the three most stable types of marriages--the kind that are likely to see their golden anniversaries. Gottman actually created a mathematical formula that can predict how well a marriage will endure.
The three types of stable and enduring marriages:

Type No. 1: The Avoiders
A husband and wife in this type of marriage routinely avoid conflict. Gottman told AP that when a difference of opinion arises, "they will never argue. They will listen to the other, but will not try to persuade." He calls them the avoiders. While this couple may be unemotional and distant, their union endures through the years.

Type No. 2: The Bickersons
The husband and wife have a volatile relationship, much like two lawyers arguing in a courtroom. "They can argue at the drop of a hat," Gottman told AP. But even with frequent and passionate arguments, such marriages do tend to last through the years.

Type No. 3: The Validating Couple
A husband and wife listen to each other, respect the other's opinion, and only occasionally argue. "They pick the issues they fight about," he explained to AP. As long as both people in a marriage have the same type of personality, that is, they are both Avoiders or both Bickersons or both Validating, the marriage will last. Trouble occurs when there is a mix, such as one partner is an Avoider and one a Bickerson. "Couples like that are usually heading for a divorce," Gottman told AP.

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