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  • Writer's pictureTyTy



● Introduction

● Causes of marital discord

● Negative communication patterns

● Effect of marital discord on children


It is not news anymore there are many marriages that are having changes in recent times or recent economic, social and environmental situations around are making some couples break down and the center can no longer hold.

Causes of Marital discord

Here are some of the most common causes of marital discord, which Include the following

1. Financial stress

2. Miscommunication

3. Work stress

4. Hurt feelings

5. Arguments OO

Communication in Marriage is key to the success of it and miscommunication causes more harm than good.

Negative communication patterns

According to Dr John Gottam of the Gottam Institute, there are four negative communication patterns that can lead to divorce he called them " The four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" which are:

1. Criticisms,

2. Contempt

3. Defensiveness

4. Stonewalling

According to this scholar, he can predict the failure of marital discord if these behaviors are not changed.

1. Criticism

Criticism attacks the character of the recipient instead, focusing on a particular behavior. Antidote for criticism is to talk about your feelings using "I" statements that express a positive need.

2. Contempt.

Contempt is an expression of superiority that comes out sarcasm, cynicism, name-calling, mockery and hostile behaviors. Antidote for contempt is to treat one another with respect also building a culture of appreciation within the relationship

3. Defensiveness

Defensiveness is self-protection through righteous indignation or playing the victim

This won’t solve the problem and it is an underhanded way of blaming your partner

Antidote for defensiveness is to accept responsibility even if only for part of the conflict

4. Stonewalling

Stonewalling occurs when the listener withdraws from the conversation without resolving anything. It takes time for the first three behaviors to become stonewalling but when it does it becomes a habit and a bad habit at that. Antidote for stonewalling is to break for at least 20 minutes, calm down then return to the conversation in an ideal situation. This is just looking at miscommunication at a cause to marital discord.

financial stress

We are in the era where the finances are dwindling especially where the man is not able to provide and he is also closed up to communicating with his spouse or cannot be vulnerable instead acts out his frustrations. When feelings are hurt because of lack of communication or attacking as a way of reacting then the other partner will then have fear and concerns that may degenerate, then it might result in playing the "what if game" meaning there are nowadays lot of doubts, anxiety and second guessing the relationship.

Effect of marital discord on children

The following include the Effect of marital discord on children

● Aggressive behavior

● Trouble following instructions

● Withdrawal to society

Marital discord can also affect extended families, friends, co-workers, the sphere of influence within the society. Couples going through this situation if it has not led to separation or divorce needs to embrace healthy resolutions like Respect, Warmth and Empathy that is visible particularly to their children.


Q: When one's partner is using the approach of attack in communication, one may instinctively become defensive. How does one avoid reacting to a partner's negative approach in a negative way?A

A: If the partner is using attack as an approach, then we can use the antidote to stonewalling since it might now be a bad habit

Q: Do you mean taking a break from the discussion?

A: Yes, if the discussion is possible otherwise if both are not able to discuss on their own. Then, they may need to agree to start a counseling program or couple’s therapy.


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