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The Four Horseman Relationship Habits That Often Lead To A Breakup
The "Four Horsemen" can predict the end of a relationship, according to psychologist and marriage researcher John Gottman, Ph.D. He's been studying couples since the 1970s.
Through his years of research, Gottman has recognized the "Four Horsemen" as behavioral predictors of breakup or divorce: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.
A critical person often says "always" or "never" when discussing what their partner does or doesn't do. It tends to come up when there is an uneven balance of labor.
For instance, if your partner forgets to do the laundry, you might say, "You're so forgetful." A healthier approach utilizes "I" statements, not blaming your partner's character.
Contempt can occur when criticism goes too far, and it can escalate to verbal abuse. It can make you communicate using sarcasm, mockery, shame, and disrespect.
In a healthy relationship, you and your partner should not belittle each other whenever a problem arises. Instead, you can try working together as a team.
When one partner uses criticism, the other may get defensive. It includes overexplaining, playing the victim card, criticizing back, or using "but" statements.
Your partner might not feel like their needs are being heard. Instead of utilizing defensiveness, accept responsibility and try to understand your partner’s perspective.
This is when one person shuts down. This can look like refusing to respond, changing the subject, changes in body language, or acting busy with another task.
Even though no words are said, it can be painful to be on the receiving end of stonewalling. Instead, tell your partner you need a break so you can both process and calm down.