Relationships Fail When These Four Things Happen

Dr. John Gottman and his colleagues at the University of Washington discovered four clear indicators of relationship failure. The indicators, dubbed "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" are so profound that their presence predicts the demise of a relationship with 93 percent accuracy.

1. Criticism. Verbally attacking your partner's personality or character. Criticism focuses on the individual’s personality, character, or interests rather than the specific action or behavior you’d like to see changed.

2. Contempt. Attacking your partner's sense of self with an intention to insult or psychologically abuse. Contempt is any open sign of disrespect toward another.

3. Defensiveness. Seeing yourself as the victim in efforts to ward off a perceived attack and reverse the blame. Denying responsibility, making excuses, meeting one complaint with another, and other forms of defensiveness are problematic because they prevent a conflict from reaching any sort of resolution.

4. Stonewalling. Withdrawing as a way to avoid conflict in efforts to convey disapproval and separation. Examples of stonewalling include the silent treatment, being emotionally  distant or devoid of emotion, and ignoring the other person completely.

SourceHuffington Post; photo: Getty Images

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