By Yilam Fang, Social Worker and Adult, Family and Couple Counsellor
Do you know that there actually are predictors for a relationship breakdown?
Learn these 4 signs and have an early insight.
Dr. John Gottman, the world-renowned expert in marital stability and divorce prediction, has highlighted 4 significant indicators in the deterioration of relationships.
The four “Horsemen of the Apocalypse” – as he metaphors – are:
While making a critique or complaining are more about external matters, criticizing your partner is a personal attack. It attacks the character and essence of your partner as a person. It is very dismantling.
Contempt is a way of communication where disrespect is conveyed, such as mocking, sarcasm, names-calling, and eye-rolling. It aims to take away the dignity and value in the target, leaving a person feeling worthless.
Contempt is stronger than criticism. It is not merely attacking your partner as a person, but it also places a superiority over them. It is the biggest predictor of divorce.
Although it is very natural for us to be defensive when we meet accusations,this approach is ineffective and seldom brings success.
It usually results in escalation of the conflict, and attracts more criticism, creating a vicious cycle.
Withdrawals, shut-down, cold wars, getting obsessive or distracted in other things, are examples of stonewalling. It takes time and a significant amount of hurt in a relationship for a person to develop this approach, thus it is not an easy or quick one to change.
Have you observed any of the above situations in your relationship?
Fortunately, each “horseman” has its respective counter-movement to turn the negativity to reconstruction of your relationship.
As a marital and family counsellor, I frequently see these 4 signs in many people’s relationships, and in my own marriage. And knowing there are ways to change it back has always been a relief. Book in your session to find out more about the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and their antidotes.