In the last post I spoke about what helps you to make a connection with your spouse. Now I will go through what destroys a relationship.
So when I discussed what makes a connection, a marriage expert John Gottman, through many studies and experience discovered that each relationship has to have a certain percentage of turning towards behaviour. In other words 80% of the time the spouses reaction needs to be to take the hand. Otherwise the relationship will fail.
He discussed in his book four things that destroy a relationship. They are so toxic in a relationship that he called them the four horseman. They are: Critisism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.
1. Critisism is when you attack the person rather than the behaviour. So, for example, instead of saying you felt hurt by an action, you say that your spouse is selfish.
2. Contempt is when you talk to them with superiority, like you’re mocking the person. As if you are better than them.
3. Defensiveness is attacking the person rather then taking responsibility. If your spouse tells you they feel hurt, instead of saying sorry, you say that they did something first and that’s why you said what you said.
4. Stonewalling is when you just shut down and disengage.
Constantly doing these things will eventually cut your connection with your spouse. If we want to say something to our spouse we should focus on how we felt. So instead of saying you’re selfish, say I felt hurt when you didn’t consider me. This will be more productive in trying to resolve the issue and less likely to escalate into a fight.
Marriage is supposed to be a refuge where you both can feel safe and find tranquility.
One of the best things you can do to help strengthen your marriage is to build a strong relationship with Allah.
This is the last post in this series. I hope you will find these notes I made beneficial inshaAllah.