In any marriage, there are a number of challenges that have the potential to wreck your relationship. However, if it's any consolation at all, researchers have observed that there are just four behaviors that (when avoided) greatly improve your chances of avoiding divorce. Now if you think that's a measurable improvement, consider this: In just 15 minutes of interaction, an expert can predict with a 90 percent degree of accuracy whether a couple will still be together in five years.
The Numbers Don't Lie
So how is it that an expert can predict with such incredible accuracy just which relationships are built to withstand the test of time? This isn't about fortune-telling or guesswork. Researchers have identified a list of the four behaviors you must avoid if you don't want to go down the path of divorce: accusation, escalation, invalidation and alienation. These are all learned behaviors, so you can also learn new and improved habits that will strengthen your relationship rather than destroy it.
1. Accusation: Simply put, one of the absolute kisses of death in a marriage is the tendency to assign blame or make accusations toward your partner — especially when you don't know all the facts. It's as fundamental as asking a question rather than making a statement or worse — an accusation. It's about asking, "Honey, did you make a purchase I don't know about?" rather than saying "The account is overdrawn again. What did you buy this time?"
If you want to have a quality, loving relationship, learn to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt and always assume the best, rather than the worst. When you're a graceful person who treats others fairly and respectfully, even when they occasionally make a mistake, it creates a desire in them to be even better and to justify your faith. People will often rise or fall to the exact level of your expectations, so it's a great idea to check in on these if you see a problem arising.
2. Escalation: Human emotions under pressure tend to do one of two things: They either spiral upward or they spiral downward. In that way, this habit is somewhat closely aligned with blaming behaviors. Someone who habitually escalates a disagreement is more interested in deflecting and defending their own position and assigning blame to another party. This often creates a "dueling defensiveness" that is not only wholly unproductive ... it's absolutely destructive. Keep reading...
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