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Gender Equality in Housework - Essay

  • Date Submitted: 02/10/2012 08:04 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.9 
  • Words: 617
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1. Myth: Better communication will save your marriage.
Fact: We often hear that successful conflict resolution, which includes active listening, makes for healthy and happy marriages. But according to Gottman, most of the roughly 650 couples they sampled “rarely do anything that even partly resembles active listening when they’re upset.”
Also, a study by researcher Kurt Hahlweg and colleagues found that couples were still distressed after trying active listening techniques. Couples that were helped relapsed within a year.
Plus, conflict-resolution-based marital therapies have a high relapse rate. He cites research that reveals a success rate of 35 percent for the best conflict resolution therapy, a rate that diminished a year later. (Only 18 percent of the couples maintained improvements at followup.)
One of the problems is that most couples aren’t able to listen actively. And it’s hard to be empathetic and objective when your partner is talking about you. According to Gottman, “Active listening asks couples to perform Olympic-level emotional gymnastics when their relationship can barely walk.”
He doesn’t discourage people from using the technique. He says that if you think it’ll help, give it a try. But “Even if it does make your fights ‘better’ or less frequent, it alone cannot save your marriage,” he writes.
2. Myth: Avoiding conflict will kill your marriage.
Fact: We also often hear that fighting is a good thing. You get out your grievance instead of letting it fester and balloon until you erupt. We’ve come to believe that staying silent will sabotage and subvert relationships.
But according to Gottman, “Plenty of lifelong relationships happily survive even though the couple tend to shove things under the rug.” He gives the example of Allan and Betty:
When Allan gets annoyed at Betty, he turns on ESPN. When Betty is upset with him, she heads for the mall. Then they regroup and go on as if nothing happened. Never in forty years of marriage have they sat...


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