Social scientists often say that you cannot guarantee the permanency of your marriage, but only play the odds. When entering the marriage institution, the majority carry with them high expectations, unmet desires, and histories of heartbreaks. You expect your partner to love you like no one did before, and in a manner that you desire. Often, this unspoken expectation is a recipe for marriage failure.
Logically, lovers want to avoid divorces at any cost, considering the pain accompanying them. Unluckily, tales abound of spouses who appeared to be a perfect-match until, out of the blue, they called it quits. Should this happen, you need to talk to a Los Angeles divorce lawyer and get legal counsel, not only on matters of child support or alimony but also the legal processes of a divorce.
While noticing red flags in your marriage is not easy, you could predict a nose-diving trend and avoid getting caught off guard. Recent studies have highlighted the indicators that could predict a future divorce. In this article, you will learn some of these indicators.
Research shows that 96 percent of the time, the first three minutes of a conversation influences its end. A harsh startup or rather a conversation that begins with a bad tone ends with a similar tone. Harsh startups could entail derogatory remarks, condemnations, criticism, and mockery. These are surefire recipes of how to fail in your marriage.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
A psychologist from the University of Washington explains certain behaviors to watch out for in marriage. Dubbed “the four horsemen,” these relationship behaviors could predict future divorce with high accuracy. Below are the four horsemen:
Criticism: Attacking the Spouse, Not the Behavior
Negative criticism from your spouse is a leading indicator that your marriage could break within no time. Negative criticism happens when your spouse uses words to mention that something is wrong with you. They could attack your character or personality. Many partners use criticism to prove each other wrong or win a tiff. For example, using words like “you are always.…,” “you are the kind that….” could make one feel attacked, and they are likely to counter the criticism, and quarrel could ensue. If spouses keep attacking each other, one could give up and choose to file a divorce since the marriage saps away a lot of their energy.
Expressing Contempt toward a Partner
According to Gottman Institute, contempt means seeing your spouse as of a lower class than yours. Psychologists refer to this scenario as the “kiss of death” for a marriage. John Gottman, together with the psychologists from the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a 14-year study of 79 couples in the US. The study showed that contempt affects your partner’s sense of self, crush them, manipulates them, or puts them through emotional torture. Examples of behaviors that show hatred include:
- Jeering in disgust
- Showing bitterness
- Raining insults
- Insensitive joking
- Spiteful sarcasm
Research even proves that spouses who are contemptuous of one another have a higher chance of suffering from transmittable illnesses like flu. Above all, contempt is the single most significant predictor of divorce, and a Los Angeles divorce lawyer could help should you decide to file for a divorce.
Always Being on The Defensive
Yet another predictor of future divorce that comes in the form of righteous indignation to counter your spouse’s protest. You could make a complaint about an odd behavior you have recently noticed in your spouse. If they become defensive, that’s defensiveness. According to researcher Robert Levenson, this horseman exists in marriages, especially those on the rocks. You could be headed for divorce if every time your spouse fishes for excuses and say that you accuse them unjustly.
Stonewalling/ Withdrawing from A Conversation
A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family suggests that it’s not a great sign when you try to talk to your partner about serious matters, and they shut down. The shutting down or withdrawing from a conversation during conflict is called stonewalling. Your partner could close themselves off from you if they feel overpowered or physiologically flooded.
Often stonewalling erects a wall between married couples, and their issues remain unsolved. Acts of stonewalling includes:
- Acting busy
- Turning away
- Storming out
- Going mute
- Changing the subject
- Monosyllabic mutterings
- Making elusive maneuvers
- Engaging in obsessive behaviors
A study done in 1985 by Levenson and Gottman dubbed “Physiological and Affective Predictors of Change in Relationship Satisfaction” states that men often stonewall more than women. The study suggests that 85 percent of the “stonewallers” are men. Also, if a woman stonewalls, it is quite predictive of divorce. A 2014 study published in the journal Communication Monographs adds more evidence by saying that spouses who often withdraw in heated conversations are less satisfied and could predict future divorce.
Just like a river that becomes full after a torrential downpour and bursts its banks, you could get overwhelmed with your partner’s negativity. The negativity could be in the form of defensiveness, contempt, or even criticism. The negativity could be so overwhelming that you are left shell-shocked, and here, your marriage’s meltdown is predictable.
Physiological or bodily changes are evident in spouses who are in abusive or damaging marriages. For example, if you’re a flooding prey, your heart rate speeds up and raises your blood pressure to unhealthy levels. When in a state of flight, you cannot resolve your issues. A repetitive trend could put your health at risk, and you could consider serving your spouse with divorce papers.
Contact a Divorce Expert Today
No marriage is perfect! Quash the mentality that marriage is a bed of roses. There exist issues and problems in every relationship that couples can solve amicably. If these differences are not resolved, they could be indicators of a future divorce. Different marriages show different divorce indicators. If divorce is your solace, you should talk to a compassionate Los Angeles divorce lawyer. You will get help with issues like child visitation, support, and custody, as well as division of joint assets or even alimony.