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Conflict is a part of most romantic relationships—and in a certain sense, if there are no arguments there may not be enough at stake. Yet certain types of chronic arguing can be a sign of abuse or dysfunction. Some psychologists point to a qualitative difference between conflict driven by disagreement and that driven by contempt. Psychologist John Gottman popularized this distinction with his suggestion that contempt is the greatest single predictor of a failed marriage, and is “poisonous to a


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Five

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