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The Five Worst Fight Styles On Married At First Sight

All couples fight. It’s how you fight that can make or break your relationship, right Sarah and Telv?

If there’s one thing we know about Married At First Sight it’s that the ‘experts’ aren’t much help with anything, leaving the rest of us to amateur analyse the internal workings of each of the contestants on our own.

With that in mind, let’s put on our armchair psychologist hats and count down the five worst fight styles exhibited by MAFS contestants and why they’re relationship cyanide:

1. Sarah: shutting down.

Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship with a shutter-downer would have rocked with PTSD watching Sarah stalk around the house, pursed lips, glaring silently at Telv, during their fight this week. Apparently they didn’t speak for 24 hours. Shutting down or stonewalling is one of famed psychologist John Gottman’s ‘Four Horsemen’ traits that can accurately predict a relationship won’t last and this new side to Sarah is breaking our hearts into a billion pieces as we slowly realise that if there is no Sarah and Telv then love is dead.

Why it’s relationship poison: when you stonewall someone you’re likely to upset or anger the other person so much that they ‘check out’ as well. Sarah hates that Telv leaves her for an hour to go to the gym. If she continues to stonewall, he’ll be out of there for much longer than an hour

(Credit: Channel 9)

2. Nasser: stubbornness.

“It is always Nasser first and there’s nothing wrong with that” said Nasser at the commitment ceremony this week, confirming that he has less communication skills than the couch he’s sitting on. “Nasser operates in a Nasser way and Nasser has been operating in that way for a long time,” he adds alluringly, eliciting gasps of horror and disbelief from the entire room.

Why it’s relationship poison:  Stubbornness creates a wall between couples – it gives the other person nowhere to move. It also leaves the person being stubborn nowhere to move; if Nasser can’t curb his stubbornness he’s destined to spend the rest of his days as a cantankerous Grandpa Simpson – muttering darkly at the clouds and waving his fists at anyone under the age of 40.

3. Gab: threats.

There’s pretty much nothing Gab can do in the face of Nasser’s Easter Island Statue immobility but there’s one thing that 100 per cent won’t work: threats. So far she’s tried cornering him with a ‘leave’ card In the hope it would make him change his ways. He tantrummed harder than ever, stalking off in the middle of the home stay and then peevishly vacuuming her when she tried to make amends. Then last night, she told him that she was staying to torment him further. This won’t end well.

Why it’s relationship poison: threats are never great at the best of times – as Oprah says, ‘no change through shame!’ – but they’re particularly useless against someone whose instinct is to dig their heels in. If Gab and Nasser get out of this experiment with anything other than seething hatred for each other, I’ll eat Troy’s cooking. 

Married at first sight
(Credit: Channel 9)

4. Dean: defensiveness.

When he was first confronted with his mini-affair with Davina, Dean defended, deflected and detached – blaming everyone for the mess but himself. It was Davina’s fault for seducing him. It was Ryan’s fault for giving him permission. To his credit, Dean is getting better at coming clean about his crappy behaviour since he’s started to repair his relationship with Tracey, in no small part because she keeps hammering him on it. Brava, lady.

Why it’s relationship poison: Defensiveness is another one of Gottman’s Four Horsemen. The issue is the defensive one feels attacked, but observers feel like they’re refusing to accept blame. No one’s perfect – well, except Nasser in the mind of Nasser –and for relationships to flourish, all parties need to acknowledge when they screw up.

5. Ashley: lashing out.

Poor Ashley. She’s not a bad egg but she’s lashing out because she’s dating Jim Carrey-meets-Alvin The Chipmunk and it’s making her miserable. We’ve all been in relationships where our contempt for the other person (contempt is the absolute worst of Gottman’s horsemen, PS) turns us into a screeching banshee. She’s not this. She’s just not happy. Run, woman. Save yourself. Save both of you. Save us.  

Why it’s relationship poison: Because you yell all the time. That’s not a relationship – that’s an episode of Married At First Sight and we all know that’s no way to live.  

(Credit: Channel 9)

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