What is the useful of your marriege

If you are worried about the future of your marriage or relationship, you have plenty of company. What makes-the numbers even more disturbing is that no one seems to understand why our marriages have become so nice.

In pursuit of the truth about what tears a marriage apart or binds it together, I have found that much of the conventional wisdom–even among marital therapists–is either misguided or dead wrong. For example, some marital patterns that even professionals often take as a sign of a problem–such as having intense fights or avoiding conflict altogether–I have found can signify highly successful adjustments that will keep a couple together. Fighting, when it airs grievances and complaints, can be one of the healthiest things a couple can do for their relationship.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in my years of research into marital relationships–having interviewed and studied more than 200 couples over 20 years–it is that a lasting marriage results from a couple’s ability to resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship. Many couples tend to equate a low level of conflict with happiness and believe the claim “we never fight” is a sign of marital health. But I believe we grow in our relationships by reconciling our differences. That’s how we become more loving people and truly experience the fruits of marriage.

Although there are other dimensions that are telling about a union, the intensity of argument seems to bring out a marriage’s true colors. To classify a marriage, in my lab at the University of Washington in Seattle, I look at the frequency of fights, the facial expressions and physiological responses (such as pulse rate and amount of sweating) of both partners during their confrontations, as well as what they say to each other and in what tone of voice they interact verbally.

But there’s much more to a successful relationship than knowing how to fight well. Not all stable couples resolve conflicts in the same way, nor do they mean the same thing by “resolving” their conflict. In fact, I have found that there are three different styles of problem solving into which healthy marriages tend to settle:

o Validating. Couples compromise often and calmly work out their problems to mutual satisfaction as they arise.

o Volatile. Conflict erupts often, resulting in passionate disputes.

o Conflict-avoiding. Couples agree to disagree, rarely confronting their differences head-on.

Previously, many psychologists might have considered conflict-avoiding and volatile marriages to be destructive. But my research suggests that all three styles are equally stable and bode equally well for the marriage’s future.


One of the first things to go in a marriage is politeness. As laughter and validation disappear, criticism and pain well up. Your attempts to get communication back on track seem useless, and partners become lost in hostile and negative thoughts and feelings. Yet here’s the surprise: There are couples whose fights are as deafening as thunder yet who have long-lasting, happy relationships.

The following three newly married couples accurately illustrate the three distinct styles of marriage.

Bert and Betty, both 30, both came from families that weren’t very communicative, and they were determined to make communication a priority in their relationship. Although they squabbled occasionally, they usually addressed their differences before their anger boiled over. Rather than engaging in shouting matches, they dealt with their disagreements by having “conferences” in which each aired his or her perspective. Usually, they were able to arrive at a compromise.