“What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” Tad Carpenter

If you’ve read my blog, then you know the majority of what I write about couples is based from the research of Dr. John Gottman. If you are new to reading my blog, then you now know where all of these tips for couples comes from. Dr. John Gottman has done over four decades of research in working with couples and can predict with 94% accuracy if a couple will divorce. Here are four negative behaviors in a relationship that can predict divorce:

  1. Criticism:  stating one’s complaints as a defect in one’s partners personality. For example, giving the partner negative trait attributions. “You always talk about yourself, you are so selfish.”
  2. Defensiveness:  self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or innocent victim-hood. Defensiveness wards off a perceived attack. For example, “It’s not my fault we’re always late, it’s your fault you never write anything down in your planner.”
  3. Contempt:  statements that come from a relative position of superiority. Contempt is the greatest predictor of divorce and must be eliminated. If you are telling your partner, they are an “idiot,” then you really need to stop.
  4. Stonewalling:  emotional withdrawal from interaction. This is also known as the silent treatment and will make your partner feel isolated and alone in the relationship.
These are also known as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. If you are using this communication pattern in your relationship, then you really need to stop. The good news is, there is help for you. When couples are dedicated to therapy and making a change in their relationship it will make a big difference in the outcome. I have completed three Gottman trainings for couples and am working towards becoming a Certified Gottman Therapist. For more help please call me at (650) 892-0357 or go to www.Gottman.com.

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