I read a quick article on Huffington Post this morning entitled “This Behavior Is The #1 Predictor of Divorce, And You’re Guilty Of It.” Well, now I have to know what it is, right?! They cited the work of John Gottman, one of the leading experts on marriage and divorce. He identifies the 4 Horsemen of the apocalypse (the top predictors of divorce) when it comes to the collapse of a marriage – Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt and Stonewalling. He states the most deadly of these is Contempt and that is the one that this article is singling out.
If you catch yourself occasionally rolling your eyes at your spouse, speaking with sarcasm, or making exaggerated heavy sighs when you are in the heat of anger or hurt, read this article and make some of the changes suggested by the experts. If you read the article and realize that your communication with your spouse is often filled with contempt, recognize it for the warning sign that it is and seek some help by finding a good marriage counselor in your area. You can find a counselor by asking your pastor for a referral (most pastors have a list of trusted counselors) or checking out www.aamft.org (Association of Marriage & Family Therapists).
“Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it that makes all the difference. Contempt often comes in the form of name-calling, snickering, sarcasm, eye-rolling and long heavy sighs. Like a poison, it can erode the trust and safety in your relationship and bring your marriage to a slow death.” –Christine Wilke
On a side note, does anyone else find it interesting that the Huffington Post has someone on staff with the title “Divorce Editor“?
Perhaps I’ve found some inspiration to continue my blog and will post again? 🙂 Stay tuned…