The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, or How to Screw Up Your Marriage

​We know from research by social psychologist J. M. Gottman, reported in What predicts divorce, that it’s not angry exchanges that predict divorce but four kinds of negativity that corrode the love you have for each other. These four variables increase the odds of getting a divorce to 85%:

1. Criticism: Attacking your lover’s character.

2. Defensiveness: Denying responsibility when you screw up.

3. Contempt: Insulting, abusive comments to your lover.

4. Stonewalling: Emotionally withdrawing and not listening to your lover.

If we add the following six variables to the mix, the odds of getting a divorce are increased to 90%:

1. Emotional distancing and isolation.

2. Emotional flooding: Overwhelming each other with the others stress.

3. Overestimating the severity of problems.

4. Refusal to work out problems.

5. Living parallel lives.

6. Feeling lonely all the time.

Better to worry a little about them now than later, or when it’s too late.

Andre Moore, Director

Marriage Couples Counseling and Life Coaching in New York City