James Murray from the University of Oxford studied 1,000 marriages and uncovered 5 “types” of marriage. That’s no big deal. But, he was able to predict with a 94% accuracy the marital futures of these couples based on the “type” of marriage they had. Now that’s impressive!
So, in this issue of Fan the Flame Devotions I want to quickly overview these 5 types of marriage; and then highlight each of them in more detail over the next five devotionals. You may want to start thinking and talking together about which of these types best describes your relationship; and which type you want to move towards.
Validating: this couple is the most likely to stay together over the course of their marriage. They care deeply for each other and work hard to demonstrate these feelings to each other. They are interested in building shared experiences over individual pursuits. They place a high value on togetherness.
Avoiders: this couple is stable in maintaining their relationship, although the quality is not as 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.
Volatile: this couple is unstable. They may have had their fingers crossed while exchanging vows. Their emotions (anger and passion) heat up quickly and are expressed intensely. This couple can’t hide their type because everyone sees their volatile emotional behaviors in action.
Hostile: this couple is like the “avoiders” with one important difference. They stay focused on the negative. They don’t ignore it or forget it … but repeat offenses to each other frequently, erecting walls of resentment and indifference. They are not loud and openly angry … they stew until one morning they get up and say: “I don’t love you anymore.”
Hostile Detached: this couple has one member who wants to argue and fight while the other refuses to engage because he or she doesn’t care. What makes this distinct from the “hostile” described above is that we have two distinct personalities: one who loves to fight and the other who loves to avoid open conflict. Conflicts are never resolved and the two become detached in just about every way.
Additional Resources to Grow Your Marriage
Watch our newest “Fan the Flame Date” – “6 Ways to Spend Time Together as Couples”