Like the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says that in closed energy systems things tend to run down and get less orderly, the same seems to be true of closed relationships like marriages. My guess is that if you do nothing to make things get better in your marriage but do not do anything wrong, the marriage will still tend to get worse over time. To maintain a balanced emotional ecology you need to make an effort—think about your spouse during the day, think about how to make a good thing even better, and act.

~John M. Gottman.


Diverse factors like ingrained behaviours, attachment styles, external pressures, and unresolved trauma can make relationships complex. Regular check-ins and stress-reducing conversations with your partner are beneficial. Active listening, clear communication, and understanding when to offer support or solutions are vital skills. Recognizing and addressing unproductive conflict patterns such as criticism, rejection, or avoidance can lead to more effective conflict resolution.

Remember, our reactions in conflicts are often automatic. Pausing to acknowledge internal triggers and emotions can lead to more thoughtful responses, fostering calm and regulation. This self-regulation is a crucial step towards collaborative conversation and conflict resolution, ultimately enriching the relationship.

Relationships thrive on mutual effort and commitment. Success in navigating challenges, especially during disagreements, hinges on the individual attributes, insights, and attachment styles of each partner. Mastering effective communication and conflict resolution is crucial, yet maintaining composure under stress can be demanding. Recognising the influence of past experiences and learned communication patterns is key to enhancing self-awareness and improving interactions.