Four Predictors of Divorce, and What You Can Do
According to an extensive study done by researchers over a 14 year span, data suggests that nearly 100 percent of the time, there are four behavioral tendencies among couples that can almost surely be harbingers of divorce. Thankfully, Robert Levenson and John Gottman, psychologists at the University of California-Berkely and the University of Washington respectively, have detailed exactly what these four behaviors look, sound, and feel like, in order to educate couples on how to avoid these glaring pitfalls. Moreover, both psychologists contend that not only new couples but seasoned couples can fall victim to these tendencies that almost always result in divorce.
Over the course of a 14 year study that included 79 couples, Gottman and Levenson were able to pinpoint four behaviors that in turn led them to be able to predict which marriages would end in divorce, a staggering 93 percent of the time. The psychologist pair claim that contempt, criticism, stonewalling, and defensiveness are a recipe for disaster. As confirmed by another study that surveyed 373 newlywed pairs, couples that yelled at each other, abruptly terminated conversations with one another, or who showed contempt for each other in the first year were much more prone to divorce, even over 15 years later.
Gottman and Levenson have nailed down these four behaviors, labeling them as the “four horsemen of the apocalypse,” due to their dangerous nature in the course of a relationship. Contempt is described as a combination of anger and disgust pointed at one’s partner, rather than simple frustration or run-of-the-mill negativity. Contempt is the result of one partner viewing their counterpart as beneath them, rather than accepting them as their equal. The behavior is cancerous to any relationship. Meshed with the wrong type of criticism, which is the act of attributing a simple act to a generality about that person’s underlying character is fatal to nearly all relationships.
Furthermore the psychologists found that stonewalling your partner in a conversation as it comes to spiral into an argument is far from constructive, as it hinders a couple from actually addressing any sort of issue. Defensiveness is no better though, and when one part of a relationship continues to play the victim and displace blame, issues are ultimately just being avoided in this particular behavior too.
As toxic as these behaviors can be in a relationship, the occasional display of these tendencies does not necessarily mean a nail in the coffin of any relationship, these behaviors and interactions are absolutely normal, however in overbearing capacities, these four behaviors can be definitive predictors of a divorce waiting to happen.
Via: Yahoo News