Doing This Could Lead to Divorce

We all want successful relationships!  There are very easy steps to begin to communicate in ways that will increase your chances of staying together. One way is to avoid research proven things that destroy relationships.  Studies have shown that the the single best predictor of divorce is the presence of contempt. The reason that contempt is so destructive is that any statement that is considered contemptuous communicates a feeling of disgust to your partner. Contempt develops in relationships when we feel that our needs have not been met over and over again – we lash out to get our partner to hear us!

Examples of contempt include name calling, talking down to your partner, being condescending, or dismissing your partner’s feelings or value. A contemptuous partner can also show this negativity through non verbals such as eye rolling and sneering. These actions are poisonous to your partner and the relationship, and you must repair them ASAP!

The receiver of a contemptuous message generally ends up feeling inferior or “less than” the speaker.  Over time, this lowers their feelings of self worth, damages their confidence and can make them physically ill. As a result, they often become defensive and shut down.

The best way to avoid contempt is to identify the need you wish to be fulfilled and communicate it in a way that your partner can actually take in. To do this, soothe yourself so you can calm down, try to remember positive efforts your partner has made, and then attempt to communicate your needs in a softer way.  This will give you a MUCH better chance at getting them met.  We work with couples where relationships have become poisonous to the point where any attempt to discuss a situation becomes riddled with contempt right off the bat.  It is understandable how this develops when you’ve felt rejected time and time again, but there are different ways to communicate – trust us!  And if you feel you MUST use contempt constantly because your partner is not listening to you or attempting to meet your needs, then it may be time to analyze whether you are in the right relationship.