No marriage is perfect. Even partners who’ve been together for a lifetime face their fair share of challenges. However, if couples are in constant disagreement and gridlock, they may have some deep-seated issues.
According to a recent study, four significant factors can determine if a marriage is likely to crumble. They call them “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”
How “The Four Horsemen” can hurt marriages
All married couples have their issues. However, if any of the following behaviors are commonplace or extreme, this can be a cause for concern:
- Criticism: Marriages, where spouses not only complain about their partners but attack their personality, are not healthy. When conflicts result in putdowns and fighting to win, this can create an unhealthy pattern. These matters can leave both parties feeling unheard and misunderstood.
- Defensiveness: In some cases, the spouse that’s facing criticism from the other may become overly defensive, even if they are the one at-fault in a particular argument. Defensiveness can come out in various ways, including avoidance of responsibility, refusing to listen and cross-complaining.
- Contempt: While the other two can get worked out, it can be harder to fix when they hate each other. When partners’ arguments result in hateful words, belittling or even verbal abuse, these are red flags of a toxic marriage.
- Stonewalling: Once couples start stonewalling one another, the relationship may be on life support. Stonewalling can take many forms. Sometimes, it occurs when couples stop communicating entirely. It may also happen if couples still talk, but they avoid all conflict and disagreements they have.
There’s no shame in starting over
Society says that marriage should last a lifetime. But when couples end up miserable with one another, they shouldn’t have to stay. Luckily, a proactive family law attorney can provide spouses with the aggressive representation they need.