A pattern of interaction characterized by the willingness of one partner to defer to the other. One partner asserts a position and the other agrees.
The tension between family members that results from competing goals or strategies; like stress, conflict is neither good nor bad, but, rather, signals the need for a readjustment of patterns of interaction.
Conflict Management Goals
The goals that individuals bring to a conflict situation that influence their choice fo conflict-management strategies.
Couples who live with the pain of unresolved problems due to mininization or avoidance of conflict and yet are able to remain close and intimate.
When a member of a couple initiates contact with the partner through ordinary conversation. The partner can respond to these emotional bids by either "turning toward" the partner, "turning away" from the partner, or "turning against" the partner.
When the benefits or rewards one partner derives from a relationship are comparable with those the other derives. Relationships are experienced as inequitable when one partner derives greater benefits from the relationship than the other.
When the rewards derived from a relationship are proportional to the costs. That is, what partners get out of the relationship is comparable with what they put into it.
An "emergency state" resulting from an individuals being emotionally and physically overwhelmed by conflict. At the point of flooding, it is impossible for individuals to take in information or respond to others.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Patterns of interaction characterized by criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and withdrawal that result in increasing negativity and possibly the end of the relationship.
Positive Sentiment Override (PSO)
The emotional climate created by successful and happy couples that enables them to override the negative effects that conflict creates in the relationship. PSO can be thought of as a filter that colors how couples remember past events and view new issues.
Distinguished by a degree of legitimacy power refers to an individual's efforts to control the behavior of another or the relationship. Power is legitimized when the authority of one partner is negotiated within the relationship. Nonlegitimate expressions of power are manifested in effortd to control the partner or the relationship without the authority to do so having been agreed on by both parties.
A pattern of interaction that maintains a facade of mutuality and harmony that is often devoid of intimacy because the fear of conflict makes the experience of getting close to another too risky to undertake.
Interactions that decrease the negative escalation of conflict. Examples of repair attempts include apologies, humor, affection, and changing the subject. These interactions are not necessarily related to the content of the arguement but may simply provide a brief reprieve from it.
The expectations that people bring to relationships regarding how role tasks should be either allocated or executed.
Patterns of interaction characterized by an unwillingness of either partner to give in to the other.
Couples who maintain closeness and intimacy by listening respectfully to one another and confirming each other's feelings.
Couples who can maintain a sense of connection and intimacy despite bitter arguements characterized by attacks, counterattacks, and fits of rages.