Volatile Couples are entertained and energized by a good debate.Gottman’s research says these couples love to mix it up, but they respect each other and express good will, even while they are passionately seeking to persuade.Conflict within a relationship can be tiring, frustrating, and monotonous.When a couple becomes stuck in the same repetitive arguments, even small conflicts such as arguing over who empties the dishwasher most often can make you feel trapped in a circle of conflict.When mutual reliance is required, they can get these areas worked out well. However, they tend to be emotionally muted, and content with low-key “good enough” communication.However, in cases of younger couples with extreme Conflict-Avoidance, this style can tend to experiment with serial infidelity as a way of getting attention, sometimes with very damaging results.They usually go along to get along, and they work hard to understand their partner’s perspective.Validating Couples are not total pushovers, however. If they have strong opposing points of view on an issue that they care about, they’re both capable of digging in.
Validating Couples tend to have a softer approach to each other, and the overall mood is cordial and subdued. Hostile Couples All of the Four Horsemen are on display with Hostile Couples, But the Attack/Defend Groundhog Day fights are where Hostile Couples get perpetually bogged down.
As a result of Gottman’s research in the love lab, he has categorized couples into five distinct types.
Three of the types he considers to be relatively successful and adaptive; are profoundly different from one another but are still able to keep a positive ratio of 5:1 in their emotional bank accounts, and can resist the temptation to slide into negative sentiment override (NSO). Conflict Avoidant Couples The functionality of Conflict Avoidant Couples is a matter of degree. They focus on areas of agreement and are most comfortable when areas of mutual agreement expand rather than contract.
When working well, each style helps couples make sure the number of positive interactions far outnumber the negative — a crucial ingredient for relational stability.
1) Validating: This is the type of relationship you probably think of when you hear professionals discuss the do’s and don’ts of relationships.