The NewlyWed Box Blog

The 4 Communication Killers

By The NewlyWed Box Team on Jan 10, 2019 1:45:08 PM

According to Dr. John Gottman, the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" are hostile forms of communication that put couples at high risk for divorce when these patterns take up permanent residence in the relationship.

1. Criticism is defined as blaming, faultfinding, or using global and negative labels to attack your spouse's character. For example, "How would you know? You're never home," or "My problem with you is ..." A harsh startup often comes in the form of criticism.

2. Contempt is a lack of respect for your spouse’s dignity, an attitude of looking down on your spouse as unworthy. Forms of contempt include name-calling, put-downs, sarcasm, cynicism, swearing at each other, rolling of the eyes, mockery or hostile humor. Contempt is demeaning and conveys not just disapproval of your spouse's behavior, but disgust with who your spouse is. While the other three horsemen show up in small amounts in most marriages, contempt is only found in toxic relationships. This horseman also includes belligerence, which is an aggressive and angry provocation or threat.

3. Defensiveness is a way of turning back a perceived attack. Someone who is defensive denies their spouse’s statements, refuses to admit their role in problems, avoids responsibility for how they impact their spouse, or deflects their spouse’s complaints back onto the other person. Defensiveness is destructive because it escalates tension and creates an adversarial interaction.

4. Stonewalling usually occurs as a result of escalating criticism, contempt and defensiveness as emotional overload becomes intense. Spouses who stonewall stubbornly refuse to give any verbal or nonverbal feedback that they are listening or attending to what their spouse is saying. Often they just get up and leave the room. It's like talking to a stone wall. Stonewalling is best seen as a containment strategy that spouses use to avoid further escalation of the conflict. The problem is that the stonewaller does not just avoid the fight, but avoids his spouse and the relationship as well. According to John Gottman's research, 85% of stonewallers are men.

Discussion Questions: Share with your spouse how anger was handled in your childhood home.

  • How do you typically behave when you are angry?

  • Does your behavior get the response you want? If not, what do you think you could do differently?

  • Ask your spouse if he/she is comfortable with how you handle anger.

  • Discuss some options for handling anger in healthy ways in your home, keeping in mind that you are not on opposing teams.

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Topics: Expectations, Challenges, couples, Conflict, Marriage, Newlyweds, Communication

3 Secrets to Prevent Cheating

By The NewlyWed Box Team on Jan 10, 2019 12:29:48 PM

Extramarital affairs have rocked many marriages, and unfortunately, you might think that cheating is inevitable in marriage. According to psychiatrist and author Dr. Scott Haltzman, however, that is just not true.

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Topics: sex, couples, Needs, Communication, Newlyweds, Marriage, Expectations, Tips

The First Year of Marriage

By The NewlyWed Box Team on Dec 20, 2018 9:10:58 AM

Scene 1: The Big Day

The day has finally arrived. You walk down the aisle taking in all of the people who have come to witness this momentous occasion. You and your fiancé enthusiastically say “I do!” There is a great celebration and finally you leave. Now, the two of you begin your journey of happily ever after.

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Topics: couples, Needs, Newlyweds, Marriage, Challenges, Expectations, FirstYear

Sex: From Sparklers to Fireworks in the Bedroom

By The NewlyWed Box Team on Dec 20, 2018 9:10:04 AM

Let's talk about sex. According to marriage experts, there are probably more fireworks going on outside the bedroom than inside. Shocker, we know.

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Topics: sex, Marriage, couples, Fun, Communication, Newlyweds, Subscription Box, Needs, Tips

Couples Who Play Together

By The NewlyWed Box Team on Dec 20, 2018 9:09:44 AM

When was the last time you and your mate played together? Seriously... can you remember the last time you did something crazy fun together?

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Topics: couples, Marriage, Newlyweds, Fun, Play

6 Tips For Healthy Relationships During The Holidays

By John Daum on Dec 7, 2018 11:45:43 AM

As wonderful as the holiday season is, this time of year is particularly hard on relationships. Nobody likes to talk about it, but statistics show that more breakups, divorces, and infidelities happen around the holiday season than any other time of year. Happy holidays? Not for everyone...

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Topics: Holidays, Tips, Newlyweds, Marriage, Communication

The Number One Relationship Killer is...

By John Daum on Nov 30, 2018 2:24:50 PM

The Number One Relationship Killer Is… Unmet Expectations

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Topics: Newlyweds, Marriage, Subscription, Subscription Box, Communication

4 Ways to Have Difficult Conversations at the Holiday Dinner Table and Not Ruin Your Appetite

By The NewlyWed Box Team on Nov 14, 2018 4:07:35 PM

As you gather with friends or family, chances are good that at some point you will encounter people who don’t share your point of view about topics that you feel strongly about, such as politics, faith, raising children, immigration, or... you fill in the blank.

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Topics: Conflict, Holidays, Newlyweds, Fmaily

5 Ways Friends and Family Influence Your Relationship

By Gwyndolyn Joyner on Nov 13, 2018 11:59:44 AM

After you say “ I do,” there’s a lot that changes and there are new things to get used to when it comes to friends and family. Add the holidays to a new marriage, and it’s easy to feel a little incredibly overwhelmed.

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Topics: Marriage, Newlyweds, Tips

How a dog can be a blessing and a curse to your marriage (Dog gifs included).

By The NewlyWed Box Team on Nov 6, 2018 1:53:18 PM

 As NewlyWeds, you might be considering adding a furry friend to your family. There are a lot of challenges and joys that come along with adding a dog to the mix. Consider these pros and cons and decide if adding a dog is the right choice for your marriage.

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Topics: Dogs, Newlyweds, Communication

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