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Five Types of Marriage

James Murray from the University of Oxford studied one thousand marriages and uncovered five types of marriage. Now that alone is no big deal. However, he was able to predict with a 94% accuracy rate the marital features of these couples based on what type of marriage they had. Now, that’s impressive. Today, I want to quickly overview these five types of marriage and then highlight each of them in more detail over the next five weeks. But as I’m reading these, listen to see what ingredients might be in your relationship.

The first type is Validating. 

These couples are most likely to stay together over the course of their marriage. They care deeply for each other and work hard to demonstrate those loving feelings towards each other. They’re interested in building shared experiences over individual pursuits, and they place a high value on togetherness.

The second is Avoiders.

This couple is stable and maintain a relationship, although the quality of the relationship isn’t too high. They shun conflict and confrontation, believing that if you don’t talk about it, it will eventually go away. This produces little intimacy, yet they stay together out of a sense of duty and obligation.

The third type is Volatile.

This couple obviously is unstable. Their guests probably had their fingers crossed while they were exchanging vows because they expressed their emotions so quickly and passionately and intensely that everyone knows who they are because they see their volatile emotional behaviors in action.

The fourth type is Hostile.

This couple stays focused on the negative. They don’t ignore or forget it, but repeat their offenses to one another, frequently erecting walls of resentment and indifference. They’re not loud and openly angry. They stew until one morning they just get up and say, “I don’t love you anymore”.

The fifth type is Hostile – detached.

This couple has one member who wants to argue and fight while the other refuses to engage because he or she really just doesn’t care. What makes this distinct from the hostile we just described is that we have two distinct personalities here…one who loves to fight and the other who loves to avoid conflicts that then create such an uncomfortable situation that they leave.
We will be looking at each of these types of marriages in more detail in the next five weeks, so stay tuned

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