Couples therapist and researcher Dr. John Gottman analyzed years of research to determine why some couples thrive and others fizzle. One of the many useful findings from his research is the identification of what he calls the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. These are negative communication styles which can really damage a relationship, and need to be minimized, if not eliminated, for couples to improve their relationships. Below, I’ve summarized these four characteristics, and invite readers to consider how the presence of the Four Horsemen may be affecting their communication. For more detailed information on these and other suggestions from Dr. Gottman, please consult his excellent book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, published by Three Rivers Press. By the way, these suggestions apply to almost any relationship, not just that between spouses.