Here are some red flags that it’s ending – fast – unless you and your partner get help. They come from Dr. John Gottman, a therapist who says these patterns can predict the likelihood of divorce with a whopping 91% accuracy!
- You never fight. Dr. Gottman says that’s the number one predictor of divorce. Why? Because if you and your partner always avoid conflict, it’s a sign that you either lack the skills to resolve them, or you just don’t care enough about your partner to find out what’s bothering them, and then find a way to make you both happy.
- Your conversations involve contempt, criticism, defensiveness, or stonewalling. Dr. Gottman calls those “the four horsemen,” and says any time they pop up in conversations, it has the same result as insulting each other. Because instead of resolving anything, you’ll both just walk away feeling bitter about the relationship.
- Your arguments break down into “flooding.” That’s when one partner avoids talking about problems as they happen, and then one day, they suddenly unleash a barrage of complaints or criticism. Dr. Gottman says the result is that we’re left feeling shell-shocked, and so overwhelmed with negativity that we shut down emotionally, and detach from the relationship.
- The relationship has too many bad memories. In general, experts say successful couples have at least five positive interactions for every one negative interaction. So, if it feels like your marriage has more bad days than good ones, it’s not going to last!