These Four Behaviors Predict Which Marriages Will End In Divorce
Lifestyle - News
By SHERI RADFORD
Scientists Dr. John Gottman and Robert Levenson of the University of Washington have singled out four predictors of divorce, naming them the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” "Criticism" is one of these; when one party does not properly voice complaints or concerns and instead criticizes and attacks their partner, it leaves their partner feeling worthless and castigated.
Another one of these "horsemen" is "contempt." Name-calling, eye-rolling, scoffing, sneering, and belittling are all ways that contempt rears its ugly head, along with sarcasm, mockery, and hostility. The partner expressing contempt may often feel superior, while the other partner may suffer from inferiority, mental distress, and even become more prone to illnesses.
"Defensiveness," the third horseman, is usually a result of the first two. In order to protect themselves from perceived attacks, partners start counterattacking, shifting blame, and lashing out, among other behaviors to avoid taking responsibility for their part in the problem. Instead of communicating needs, partners may end up pointing out flaws, making everything worse.
"Stonewalling," which may include being unresponsive, shutting down, turning away, or pretending to be occupied during relationship discussions, is the fourth horseman. When one partner feels more attacked, their brain may respond with a fight-or-flight response; if their heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute, stonewalling can become a toxic coping mechanism.
According to Dr. Gottman, partners exhibiting one or more of these four toxic behaviors can still create a healthy marriage if they focus on kind communication. He says an "emotionally intelligent marriage" involves the couple stopping the negatives about each other and their relationship from overwhelming the positives.