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Four Negative Patterns to Avoid or Kill Your Marriage in the Process

Those of us in the marital therapy and marital research field are indebted to Dr. John Gottman and his groundbreaking discoveries over the last thirty years.  He’s been very helpful to me in my practice (and my marriage!) and I feel a great deal of gratitude for his insights.  I’ve had to pay a lot of money to see Dr. Gottman in person or to buy his books or continuing education DVD’s and now he’s on TV for free!  Wow!  Check out this clip from his recent appearance on Anderson’s Fight Lab.

Dr. Gottman was the first to study couples actually arguing with the advent of video taping.  This research could never have been done before the modern era and Dr. Gottman was the person who got this research up and running.  He’s been doing it over 40 years and has interviewed, studied and helped thousands of couples and clinicians and researchers.

His claim to fame is the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse which is terminology he’s borrowed from the Book of Revelation in the Bible meaning: these are the signs of the end, but instead of the end of the age in the Bible, he’s using to say, these are the signs of the end of the marriage!  YIKES!

His Four Horsemen are: criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt.  The worst of these is contempt, which is basically mocking our partner.  Now I believe we all do these things once in awhile, but couples who don’t do well use these behaviors way too often and eventually wear each other out.  On the Anderson show we’re featuring here they show examples of each of the Four Horseman.

If you know what doesn’t work, you can find ways to NOT do it.  Being self-aware is half the battle.  Check him out.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the entire show on the Internet, but here’s another site that has a couple of other clips from the show.

For those of you interested in finding out more about Dr. John Gottman, his website is here.

You don’t have to fly to Seattle to see Dr. Gottman.  We use many of his techniques and research insights in our own work, so feel free to give us a call.


Dr. Bing Wall is a marriage therapist with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa.  To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473.  For more information about Dr. Wall click here.

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