Literature such as anger. When a couple have

Literature review

communication is often underestimated, but it is as important as the verbal one.

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In fact, the nonverbal aspect refers as the first impression people will have
from you. This aspect in the couple have its importance. Nonverbal
communication may consist of looking, smiling, frowning, touching, or expressions
of surprise as seen in Weisfeld and Stack’s research study (2002). These form
of communication is more often used by women than by men. Weisfeld and Stack emphasize
in their study the nonverbal behaviors related to the closeness of a couple and
found that women looked at their partners for a significantly longer amount of
time as compared to men. The average length of a wife’s look was 7.5 seconds
while the husband was 4.5 seconds. However, this 2 seconds difference is not that
significant and do not mean that they are not listening to their wives. For
example, Weisfeld and Stack conjectured that men could probably show less
emotion because of their education which encourage them to handle such as anger.

When a couple have disagreement, situation can escalate quickly especially if
men fully express his emotions and become violent. So, it was suggested that numerous
men generally fail to show their emotion because they trained themselves to be
“emotionless” in struggle situations. Sabatelli, Buck, and Dyer (1982) also
shared the same idea. In fact, regarding nonverbal communication and its
relationship to the couple subject of struggle, they found out that wives who
had companions mastering communication skills are inclined to have more
complaints about them. Their hypothesis was that because men were not expected
to share their emotions, mastering nonverbal communication skills may be seen as socially unacceptable to their wives.


the most efficient communicator in the relationship is strategical in order to
progress together in a better communication. Noller (1980) assure that there is
a link between a couple’s marital improvement and their communication skills.

In fact, each participant of the study first had to pass the Marital Adjustment
Test (Locke & Wallace, 1959) in order to determine their global marital happiness.

This last showed that the one with low marital adjustment exhibited
considerably less good nonverbal communications than those with a high marital
adjustment. Then, we may wonder if good communication occurred due to the happiness
inside their wedding or if couple have an higher martial adjustment due to
their good communication?

are better nonverbal communicators regarding various studies (Noller, 1980;
Sabatelli et al., 1982). Nevertheless, being an efficient communicative person
involves both encoding and decoding messages. Women have a natural tendency to
be more expressive. Therefore, men were found to make more errors than women
when encoding messages (Noller, 1980). Still, it was also found that women were
not better decoders, or receivers of messages, than their husband. This can be
explicated because of men poor ability to encode and deliver messages
effectively. The same was found in other studies (Sabatelli et al., 1982;
Koerner & Fitzpatrick, 2002). Other conclusion by Sabatelli et al. and
Koerner and Fitzpatrick also suggest that familiarity have its importance on
how effective nonverbal communication is. In both of their experiences,
participants encoded and decoded messages to their partners. Both studies
revealed that the spouses were significantly more skilled at decoding their
partners’ messages, implying that couples may become more successful at
interpreting their spouses’ nonverbal communication over time.


employed to demonstrate interest to someone or on a wish to demonstrate sexual
attraction, flirting is a practiced path at the beginning of several couple relationship.

Regarding Horan and Booth-Butterfield’s (2010) founding, beneficiate of strong
fondness is in linked with relational satisfaction. Giving affection is
connected to engagement in couple. Nevertheless, we may wonder if flirting act
would keep bee practiced in long relationship such as a union. In fact, on wich
purpose would we continue flirting after the act of alliance, and if so, how
each member of the couple will manifest it? Frisby and Booth-Butterfield’s (2012)
make research about flirt goal, they found that the main purpose of flirtation
within a marriage was in order to build a privacy bubble fort the partners and motivate
sex. They also found that flirting is more often used by women in order to
create desire or get attention. However, in other research about flirtation
motivation, men are also guilty of using flirting on a flattering purpose (Frisby,
2009). In accordance with the previous study, Frisby establish the generality that
women often flirt to get attention, amusement, and interest while men flirt to
encourage sex.


Another characteristic
in flirtation style can appear due to a
dinstinct level of expressiveness in the couple. Weisfeld and Stack (2002)
conducted a study on nonverbal communication linked to the intimacy of engaged
couples. Their research emphases that women would laugh and smile more often than
men in average. According on the same research, 78% of the stimulus has been sent
by women, showing that their flirtation style is much more vivid

One of the unavoidable
aspect of marriage is conflict. As human have all different style and way of communicating,
those differences can lead to disagreements. Hanzal and Segrin (2009) verified
this aspect in their research of negative emotional attachment, a personality
trait that tends to cause distressing reactions to negative situations. They
found that member of the couple use of hurtful communication styles during
conflict was directly related to not only their own marital satisfaction but
also their companion.


During conflict, couple
members may show their wiliness to solve the problem, a positive verbal
communication, compliance, defensiveness, determination, conflict engagement, withdrawal
from interaction, antipathy, anger, fear, sadness, and whining, as revealed by Gottman
and Krokoff (1989). In their research on what makes a engagement pleasant and
enjoyable, they identified that the adoption of these category of conversation
by certain companion may lead to annoyance in a marriage. For instance, obstinacy
, defensiveness, , and withdrawal were found to generate marital dissatisfaction
over time, especially when shown by the husband. Based on this established research,
it is ovious that marital happiness is more affiliated to negative
communication than positive one. It was said that the negative communication
such as the wives’ sadness and the husbands’ complaint, were both linked to overall
marital dissatisfaction. it was also discovered that companions were less
satisfied in their matrimony when wives expressed fear and sadness and more
satisfied when they expressed anger during conflict.


One reason to explain this situation could
be the fact that men respond better to something which is similar to them. When
their wives converse in a similar way as they do such as being direct when
expressing frustration indeed.Another feature of communication struggle is partner
appreciation, or a companion’s perceptions of the other (Sanford, 2006). In
Sanford’s research, three types of appreciation were studied: expectancies for
partner understanding, expectancies for partner negative communication, and
negative attributions for partner behavior. He maintained that based on a
spouse’s appreciation of the other, his/her comportment will change. For instance,
if the married woman expects her husband to be rude and negative when a
conflict happens, she will already start arguing in a defensive mode. On the
contrary, if she supposes her husband to be listening and kind, she will act
differently Sanford’s study found that wives’ assumption formed within-person
behavior change more so than men’s, involving that women are more affected to
the effects of their self-judgment.


measure to deal with marital conflict efficiently would be for both husband to open
their minds in order to see things through their loved ones’ point of view. Kellas
and colleagues (2013) recommend it as perspective-taking. It exhibits that
someone really cares for his/her spouse and is producing a conscious attempt in
order to solve the situation. The research team found that the principal way
spouses detected perspective-taking from their companion was by agreement
behaviors such as confirmation, and taking ownership of faults and supportiveness.

Nevertheless, there were important contrasts in how wives and husband perceived
perspective-taking. When husbands observed increasingly unsupportive or negative
attitude from their wives, they were less presumably to consider them as
understanding their perspectives. When husbands detected attentiveness from
their wives, they were more likely to see them as taking their perspectives. At
the opposite, bad comportment, such as inattentiveness and disagreement, were
the only factors that connected to wives’ understandi about their husbands’
perspective-taking, verifying the differences in communication preferences
between men and women. Overall, this study demonstrates the great effects of
negative communication on the perceptions of perspective-taking between
spouses. Communication among couples is a topic that has been intensively
studied. However, further research of the contrast in communication styles
between men and women will lead to better understanding. Specifically, communication
among brand new couples should be studied in order to learn what may be causing
early struggle in a marriage and finally lead to better understanding of how to
maintain a prosper union.




Frisby, B.B. & Booth-Butterfield, M.

(2012). The “how” and “why” of flirtatious communication between marital
partners. Communication Quarterly, 60(4), 465-480.

Frisby, B.N. (2009). “Without flirting, it
wouldn’t be a marriage”: Flirtatious communication between relational partners.

Qualitative Research Reports in Communicatio, 10(1), 55-60. doi: 10.1080/17459430902839066

Gottman, J.M. & Krokoff, L.J. (1989). Marital interaction and
satisfaction: A longitudinal view. Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Psychology, 57(1), 47-52.

Hanzal, A. & Segrin, C. (2009). The
Role of Conflict Resolution Styles in Mediating the Relationship Between
Enduring Vulnerabilities and Marital Quality. Journal of Familty Communication,
9(3), 150-169. doi: 10.1080/15267430902945612

Horan, S.M. & Booth-Butterfield, M. (2010). Investing in affection:
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Kellas, J.K., Willer, E.K., & Trees,
A.R. (2013). Communicated perspective-taking during stories of marital stress:
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Koerner, A. & Fitzpatrick, M.A. (2002). Nonverbal communication and
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relationship irrelevant affect. Communication Monographs, 69(1), 33-51. doi: 10.1080/03637750216537

Locke, H.J. &
Wallace, K.M. (1959). Short marital-adjustment and prediction tests: Their
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Noller, P. (1980). Misunderstandings in
marital communication: A study of couples’ nonverbal communication. Journal of
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Sabatelli, R.M., Buck, R. & Dreyer, A.

(1982). Nonverbal communication accuracy in married couples: Relationship with
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Sanford, K. (2006). Communication during
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behavior. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(2), 256-265. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.2.256

Weigel, D.J. & Ballard-Reisch, D.S. (2008). Relational maintenance,
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Weisfeld, C.C. & Stack, M. A. (2002). When I look into your eyes. Psychology,
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