Who wouldn’t want to have a happier and more successful relationship? It would probably not be wrong to say that many couples come together for this purpose and establish relationships. Because people want to enter into a couple relationship in order to meet similar expectations such as to love, to be loved, to experience mutual satisfaction and to be happy. However, it is not possible to say that the expectations are met to the same extent for everyone during the relationship.
So what could be the reason for this difference? Why are some couples happier and more successful in their relationships, while others are more unhappy and unsuccessful? Why do some couples always drift in the same cycle and become unhappy? What do couples who have happier and stronger relationships pay attention to? What do they do to achieve this?
John and Julia Gottman, the founders of Gottman Couples Therapy, who have been conducting scientific studies on couples for many years to find answers to these and similar questions, have reached important data on what couples who have more successful relationships do and what they do not do, in the light of the data they obtained from these scientific studies. According to one of the findings; couples with more unhappy and unsuccessful relationships used 4 destructive interaction patterns intensively in their relationships. In other words, those who had happier and more successful relationships stayed away from these four.
John and Julia Gottman to this quartet: 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse They call this quartet a kind of poison that prevents strong relationships from being built. According to them, it is necessary to remove these four horsemen from the lives of the couples and replace them with their antidotes in order to turn the bad relations into a strong one again. Otherwise, it is inevitable that relationships will be damaged, dysfunctional and terminated.
Well, this is only one of the reasons for more unhappy and unsuccessful relationships. 4 Horsemen why? This 4 Horsemenhow can we change
The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their Antidotes
1. Horseman: Criticism
Criticism gives the message that you are missing, you have negative sides, you are problematic. It also makes the other party feel quite blamed because the critic is actively using your language. This causes the other side to become defensive and the conflict to flare up even more.
Ex: You are being so thoughtless. You are always thinking of yourself.
Antidote : Instead of Criticism– Make Soft Starts
In order to eliminate the first horseman, it is necessary to stay away from accusatory expressions and you language. The easiest way to explain how to do this is: Try to define yourself instead of defining the other party. So express what situation makes you feel. Try to tell the other party what you need. While doing this, take care to use soft expressions and use the language of me. Thus, both sides will not blame the other side and will express their own feelings.
Ex:Instead of “You’re being so reckless”
“I felt so worthless because my opinion was not taken while I was making this expenditure. I need to feel cared for”
This mechanism, which is a part of us that we are born with and that we need for our survival, can become harmful when it comes to relationships. This can cause damage to the relationship you are in. The person who takes a defensive approach during the interaction has more motivation to justify himself. Therefore, in such a situation, it will be difficult to understand what the other person is saying and what he needs.
Ex:A: We’re pretty hungry because of your spending on makeup this month.
B: You look at your own phone bill. You don’t realize how far you’ve come.
A: What about the food you eat out…
Antidote: Instead of Defense – Take Responsibility
take responsibility; is to acknowledge our contributor to the problem and give the message that we can take steps to correct it. It is quite difficult to do in the beginning. However, if couples can add this antidote to their lives, they will have taken a very restorative step for their relationship.
Ex:A: Our overspending on make-up products this month has hit me hard economically.
B: You’re right, I may have been a little reckless about it this month. I’ll pay attention next month.
3. Horseman: Humiliation and Contempt
This horseman is to give the message that we are not equal with you in this regard, you are lower than me. Sometimes this can be done through a word, sometimes through a facial expression or sometimes through a behavior. Regardless of how it is done, contempt and humiliation make the other party feel that they are not cared about and valued. This is one of the biggest enemies of strong relationships. That’s why it’s important to stop.
Ex: You couldn’t get a job done. Give it, but you’re incompetent.
Ex:A: That word of your father hurt me a lot.
B: You think a lot in your head. There is no such thing as exaggeration.
Antidote: Instead of Humiliation and Contempt – Share More Appreciation, Interest and Likes
Emotions such as being appreciated and feeling valued in relationships are highly nurturing. People who can feel that they receive these feelings from the other side try to be more giving and accommodating towards them. Because the person who feels respected will both feel good and make an effort to make the other party feel similar feelings. That’s why it’s important to be able to put appreciation, expressing our appreciation, and listening to the needs of the other party, instead of insulting and belittling.
Ex: I felt this job was challenging you. What things have you overcome? You do that too.
Ex:A: That word of your father hurt me a lot.
B: What does that word mean to you? Can you help me understand a little more?
It expresses emotional disconnection during interaction. While one of the parties continues to express himself, the other verbally or behaviorally gives the message that he is not interested in what he is saying. It also refers to behaviors such as interrupting the conversation, putting an attitude, and being offended. These behavioral patterns, which give the message that the other party is not cared about and rejected, can cause couples to be offended for days in the same house and to behave coldly towards each other. Couples who make it a habit to build walls damage their relationships and have a hard time recovering from this situation.
Ex:Not listening to the other person by breaking eye contact while speaking
Not talking for days by getting offended by the emotion of the moment during the event
Antidote: Instead of Walling – Expect Physical and Psychological Relaxation
When you feel that you are emotionally disconnected or physiologically overstimulated during an interaction and believe that the situation will turn into a harmful one, expressing that you need a break to experience physical and psychological relaxation instead of wall-building is the antidote to wall-building behavior. It is a more functional option to stop and think about this situation for a while and continue after physiological and psychological relaxation.
Ex:Expressing the need for a break when we feel that we are rising during the event and being able to speak again after calming down and relaxing.
In summary; It is possible to have happier and more successful relationships. One of the ways to achieve this is; It’s all about staying away from the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse as much as possible and putting their antidotes in their place.