Dr. John Gottman is an MIT-trained mathematician and psychologist who has spent decades observing couples and drawing evidence-based conclusions on the common patterns in healthy, loving relationships that last.
In his observations of couples and the way they relate during conflict, Dr. Gottman asserts: “The issue isn’t whether you fight with each other, it’s how you fight and how rich your stockpile of good feelings is about each other to weather difficulties and keep you basic attitude toward your partner positive.” Dr. Gottman makes an important point in highlighting that conflict is a normal aspect of relationships. Whether a couple fights is not the marker of their relationships’ health; it’s the way they fight and how it fits into the context of their relationship.
Take-home message: Conflict is a normal part of relationships. Process not just what the fight was about but how each partner related in the conflict and see how you can grow form it. Work on enriching your “stockpile” of good feelings towards your partner so that you have a foundation to stand on. It’s not just about loving your partner, it’s about liking your partner too.