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Can Certain Behaviors Predict Divorce?

 Posted on April 07, 2016 in Divorce

behaviors predict divorce, DuPage County Divorce AttorneyIt would be wonderful if we had a crystal ball to look into the future and see if the person we select as our spouse is really the one who will lead us into happily ever after. Of course we cannot see into the future, which may explain why almost half of all marriages end in divorce. There are, however, behaviors that couples exhibit which psychologists say could be a strong indicator on whether or not a marriage may last.

The predicting behaviors come from data collected from several studies. In one study, researchers counted how many time these four behaviors occurred during a 15-minute conversation between a couple. Using that data, along with questions about the relationship, researchers were able to predict which marriages would endure and which ones would end in almost 95 percent of the couples they interviewed. The research team used information from a 14-year study which included 79 couples. Twenty-one of the couples divorced during the study's time span.

The first behavior cited in these studies is contempt. In most cases, if one person feels contempt for their partner, they likely feel that their spouse is "beneath them." This behavior often plays out when the partner makes an innocent mistake, such as purchasing the incorrect product brand at a supermarket. The other partner's reaction can be over-the-top for an event that is not all that significant. However, a reaction of this type usually means that the angry spouse has closed off any thoughts or consideration to his or her partner's emotions or needs.

Constantly criticizing one's partner is another sign that the marriage is doomed. If one spouse has a habit that bothers the other spouse, how it is handled can be telling with regard to where the relationship is headed—especially if that innocuous habit is blown out of proportion.

The third sign indicating major issues in a relationship is if one party is always on the defensive and is never willing to take responsibility for his or her part when things go wrong.

Finally, the fourth sign that a couple's marriage may not last is when one of the two is always stonewalling. For example, any time a disagreement is brewing (which is sometimes necessary in order to come to agreements), that person shuts himself or herself off and avoids any kind of discussion. He or she may even go so far as to ignore his or her partner in order to avoid that discussion.

Dealing with these four behaviors does not necessarily mean you are headed to divorce court. However, recognizing that you and your spouse may be dealing with each other in a negative way is a good first step in correcting those issues, such as seeking marital therapy.

If you find that your marriage cannot be saved and you want to seek a divorce, please contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney to begin the process. We are available to help you today.


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