While the rate of divorce has been declining over the past years, the reasons for couples staying together or finally heading towards Splitsville has remained the same. Carrie Cole, M.Ed., LPC, master certified trainer, and director of research at the Gottman Institute gives a rundown of the red flags which can lead your happily ever after into divorce.
1. He constantly puts you down
One of the major predictors of a failed marriage is contempt. When your partner is just downright mean and nasty to you for, let’s say, the simple reason that you forgot to bring the keys, is a big indication. Constant sarcasm, ridiculing, eye-rolling and disrespect can cause mental anguish and stress, leading to health issues.
2. She cuts into your personality
Criticism can bore a huge hole in any relationship. What cuts the wound deeper is the way you deliver your complaints to your partner. Harsh criticisms such as “Are you an idiot? How many times do I have to pick up after you?” or “Why are you always late?” are just as disrespectful as name-calling. Avoid this at all costs. If you really have to voice out a complaint, be kinder and think of how you would feel if it were you on the receiving end.
3. You refuse to admit that you are wrong
When you’re constantly defensive in a relationship and just stubborn about admitting you’re wrong, you lessen the chances of being close to your partner. Keeping your guard up all the time dodging responsibility will weaken any relationship.
4. You walk out on each other
Shutting down, angrily storming out, or going dead silent during a fight is one of the worst things to do to a relationship. Stonewalling is a cold response to conflict and blocks a healthy communication between you and your partner. It creates distance between the two of you and possibly distrust in the future.
5. He's a downer
Responding in a negative light to a partner’s positivity or excitement is a big way to lose the romance of the relationship. No one will want to stay committed to you when you’re like that. The moment negativity creeps into a relationship, partners are more likely to “look for or focus on the bad no matter what one does for the other,” according to Cole.
6. She gave up caring for you months ago
The lack of willingness from a partner to fix problems, or even try to change the way they treat you, is a likely sign that your marriage has already reached its expiration date. When even seeking counseling is no longer an option for half of the party, signals an “I give up” attitude.
While one or two of the above may crop up in your marriage, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re headed for Splitsville. Just don’t wait too long to fix the problems you’re both encountering or it might be a little too late.
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