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Four Key Predictors Of DivorceIf you’re still looking in to how to file for divorce, that means there is still time to take steps in saving your relationship before it comes to dissolution. However, you have to act quickly, and that means learning what it is that’s causing the relationship to falter.

Today, we take a look at Dr. John Gottman of The Gottman Institute, who along with wife Julie have identified four key predictors of divorce. They call these predictors “the four horsemen of the apocalypse” after the end times reference in the Bible. Generally, when the Gottmans see signs of criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt, reoccur in a relationship, they know the end is near.


Gottman believes criticism is poison to a relationship because more often than not, it simply isn’t constructive. Usually, he states, it results in a “you’re not so perfect either” response which escalates the argument.


Gottman believes defensiveness is toxic because when people get defensive, they are not taking responsibility for part of the problem. When you take responsibility and say, “What’s your point? It makes some sense what you’re saying. Tell me more,” Gottman said, you begin a dialogue of cooperation rather than combat.


Gottman pointed out that “stonewalling,” or not responding to problems, is a “sign of the apocalypse” more often found in men. The purpose behind stonewalling is to not escalate the fight — to ride out the storm until she shuts up, basically. But what a person is looking for, is a response, and when they don’t get one, it naturally makes things worse and increases the odds of combative or do it yourself divorce.


Contempt often takes the form of acting superior to your spouse. On a past episode of Anderson Live, Gottman played a video of a husband who made light of his wife’s responses in a mocking voice that reiterated some of her usual responses like, “We’ll get through it,” “Everything’s gonna be okay,” and “I love you.” Gottman called contempt the surest predictor of divorce — a “sulphuric acid for love” — and even indicated that it breaks down a person’s immune system and makes them more susceptible to infectious disease.

Obviously, no relationship is perfect, and it’s possible to be guilty of one or all of these things without ending a marriage, but the more prevalent they are in your life, the more toxic they can be for you both. If you’ve tried seeking help and it just isn’t working, we can help you file a cheap divorce quickly and effectively, so you can get on with your life. Either way, good luck in your current and future relationships!

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