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These four behaviors indicate high risk for divorce

All married couples go through a range of ups and downs when it comes to their relationships. Life throws a number of obstacles at every family, and it is not uncommon for spouses to go through periods of difficulty. There are certain behaviors, however, that researchers believe are highly indicative of an increased risk of divorce. For those in Georgia who recognize these as traits present within their own marriages, it may be time to assess the health of the relationships.

The first is contempt between partners. Contempt is a powerful mix of hatred and disgust and is a condition that is much more pronounced than just occasional disappointment or anger. Spouses who view their partners with contempt often feel as though they are superior to their spouses and are more intelligent, sensitive or in some way better than their husbands or wives. Contempt suggests that one partner has become emotionally unresponsive to the other, which is often a sure sign of trouble within a union.

Another troubling behavior is extensive criticism, which is the act of taking the behavior of one's partner and interpreting it as a character trait. On the flip side of criticism is excessive defensiveness, in which a spouse regularly plays a victim's role within the marriage. People who are overly defensive often refuse to take responsibility for their actions within relationships, which usually leads to resentment on both sides.

The final behavior trait that researchers believe leads to a high risk of divorce is stonewalling. This takes place when one partner wants to discuss an issue or when an argument begins and the other refuses to listen or participate. While no spouse wants to engage in arguments, they are a natural part of growing as a couple. Refusing to discuss an issue is easy to interpret as a lack of care or concern by the stonewalling partner and can be toxic.

Georgia spouses who recognize several of these components within their own marriages should take the time to assess whether the unions are meeting their needs, especially on an emotional level. While all marriages go through phases, the presence of the behaviors mentioned above can be a sign that divorce is on the horizon. These things can slowly grow over time, and, when spouses step back and take objective looks at their relationships, many are surprised at how prevalent these behaviors have become.

Source: businessinsider.com, "4 behaviors are the most reliable predictors of divorce", Erin Brodwin, Jan. 30, 2015

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