You might not trust prophets and their prophecies, but psychologists can really predict what might happen to your marriage, let's say, in a year. Will you divorce or will go hand in hand for the rest of your life? That is the question that we can answer right now, and 4 types of behavior that predict divorce will help us.
Dr. John Gottman is a world renown psychologist who spent 40 years of breakthrough research with thousands of couples. He is known for his work on marriage, divorce and parenting, that won him many awards. One of his works called the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” investigates the problems that couples have to face, and which of partner's types of behavior lead to divorce. According to his book, one can predict that the couple will divorce in the next few months with the accuracy up to 93%.
Contempt. This is the nastiest type of behavior that you or your spouse can deal with. Eye-rolling, negative-thinking and disgust-feeling are more toxic than anything else for your relationship. You start thinking, that you live with an idiot and you close off your emotions and yourself to your partner's needs. Only this can already kill your relationship.
Criticism. Criticism isn't one of the best ways to communicate with people, especially with your dear ones. When you start to criticize your partner, you attack them and show that there's something constantly wrong with them. The words like “You always”, “You never” and “You're the type of person who” may lead to a defensive response from your spouse. You and your spouse don't hear each other, and soon both of you start to feel bad about being around each other.
Defensiveness. It's never your fault, it's always the fault of your partner. You arrive too late for family dinner and don't show up at all at very important family reunions, you have problems with your spouse, but whatever happens, it's never your fault. It's the fault of your spouse, even if they haven't done anything wrong. Taking responsibility for your own role in a tough situation is very hard, but it's the only way to keep your relationship going and never escalate the situation.
Stonewalling. Have you ever noticed, that your spouse start texting or surfing the Internet when you're arguing? Instead of trying to understand your needs, they just walk away and seem never hear and notice you. This kind of behavior is called stonewalling, and it's very toxic for your relationship. Ignoring each other and letting yourself calm down keeps you from addressing the underlying issue.
Although everyone of us now and then behave like that, it doesn't mean that you're likely to divorce. The risks are high, when anyone of you shows one or even all of these types of behavior during the short period of time. But even simple realizing that you do something that can destroy your marriage is already the first step to combating it.
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