Is your partner mad at you again? Or are you the one holding the grudge this time? Ever feel like making your relationship work is an impossible task?
I get it. Couples usually seek therapy when things have already been a problem for a while. What might surprise you is knowing that research shows there are only four behavior patterns that predict the end of a romantic relationship.
Dr. Gottman calls these destructive behaviors “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.
- Criticism: Stating one’s complaints as a defect in one’s partner’s personality
Example: giving the partner negative trait attributions like, “You always talk about yourself. I can’t believe you’re so selfish.”
- Contempt: Statements that convey a sense of superiority. Contempt is the greatest predictor of divorce and must be eliminated for a relationship to be healthy.
Example: “You’re such an idiot.”
- Defensiveness: Self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or innocent victim-hood. Defensiveness wards off a perceived attack.
Example: “It’s not my fault that the house is always dirty; it’s your fault.”
- Stonewalling: Emotional withdrawal from interaction.
Example: The listener does not give the speaker the usual nonverbal signals that the listener is “tracking” the speaker.
These negative behaviors predict early divorcing, in married couples, an average of 5.6 years after the wedding. Emotional withdrawal and anger predict later divorcing an average of 16.2 years after the wedding. Not married? The end result is the same.
I also know what makes relationships work.
How do I know all this? It’s relationship science, based on facts from over 30 years of relationships/marriage research by Drs. John & Julie Gottman, creators of the Gottman Method.
At Anxiety Therapy SD, our therapists are relationship experts who are trained in the Gottman Method of couples therapy and can help.
Communication with your partner can be difficult; finding a therapist who can help shouldn’t be.
Call now for your FREE 20-minute consultation and find out if we’re a good fit.