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Learning to Manage Discord in Relationships

Are you a Tennessee resident or are you getting married in Tennessee and you want to save $60 on your Tennessee marriage license? With our notarized certificate following the completion of our four hour Tennessee Premarital Course, you can do just that for just $27.97! We here at D’Arienzo Psychology are excited to help you take this next step toward marital happiness and success, and want to help deepen your relationship with your future spouse. Check out what we have to say about managing discord in marriage bellow:

Managing Dispute

When managing discord in marriage, couples that are able to understand and manage their emotions and behaviors, as well as understand how their partners respond to discord, are significantly better equipped to have functional relationships. This is related to a concept known as Emotional Intelligence. The Gottman’s have found that couples that are able to tolerate and manage dispute do well, whereas those that don’t manage dispute well often divorce. The Gottman’s uncovered four behaviors that are exhibited during dispute that either sustain conflict or lead to even greater conflict. Dr. D’Arienzo will discuss each of these behaviors, labeled the Four Horsemen, also known as criticism, stonewalling, defensiveness, and contempt. Dr’ D’Arienzo has provided antidotes for each, so let’s take a closer look at the first horseman:


The first of the four horsemen, and often the most common one, is criticism. When managing conflict in relationships, it is a natural human behavior for people to seek an explanation for their negative feelings and, over time, people can develop a negative habit of mind. According to John Gottman, most relationships have an element of “criticism”, but it is imperative that couples work on reducing the level of criticism that they give to their partner. Criticism can have devastating effects because it makes the victim feel assaulted, rejected, and hurt. It often causes the couple to fall into an escalating pattern where criticism reappears with greater frequency and intensity. Further, when a relationship become negative or highly conflicted, most feedback is perceived as negative. In fact, even constructive criticism is considered negative. Research shows that for every one criticism given, five positive statements are needed to counteract the negative effect of this one statement. This makes it challenging when a relationship is already toxic because it is very challenging to have constructive conversations. Try to avoid being too critical as it will help to stop a downward spiral.

Stay tuned to learn about the other three horseman: stonewalling, defensiveness, and contempt.

Taking a premarital education course is vital for equipped couples to share a lifetime of marital bliss and happiness. D’Arienzo Psychology wants to help you prepare for your life together. Dr. Justin D’Arienzo is our Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Expert. Dr. D’Arienzo has serviced this course to couples since 2013. Hundreds of couples recommend our course and claim that it has helped set a solid foundation for marital success. Research suggests that couples who take a premarital preparation course gain an advantage over couples that do not take a premarital preparation course.

Dr. D’Arienzo wanted to develop a fully efficient, online, fully automated, fun premarital course that teaches couples how to work together. Dr. D’Arienzo has perfected all of our exercises and information to ensure that couples gain the knowledge they need.  He also offers this course to couples planning on tying the knot in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Minnesota.

Do you want to lead a happy marriage that lasts a lifetime? Do you want to have fun and gain inside knowledge about marriage from a leading psychologist? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then our Tennessee Online Premarital Education Course is right for you! You can learn more about our Tennessee Online Premarital Preparation Course Here.