Reason 1 – You or your partner withdraw from conflicts.
When you try and talk to your partner about a tough issue or problem in your relationship, does he or she engage with you or do they pull away? Studies show that if they pull away, it isn’t a great sign. A 2013 study from the Journal of Marriage and Family found that this sort of “cold” behaviour in response to conflict is a strong predictor of divorce. And another study conducted by the Communication Monographs in 2014 came to a similar conclusion; their study showed that couples that DIDN’T try and actively solve their issues were much less happy in their relationship. Of course, this information doesn’t really come as a surprise at all... but the next time YOU try and bring up a problem in your marriage, see how your partner reacts. Does he or she ask you questions? Do they show concern? Or do they ignore you and give you the silent treatment? If he or she doesn’t give you the time of day, it may be a very strong indicator that something might be causing trouble in your marriage, and that you should address this ASAP.
Reason 2 – Being overly passionate as a newly married couple.
This is a little bit of a weird one…and a little bit counter intuitive too. I mean, you would assume that couples that show a ton of affection for one another, especially as newlyweds, are more likely to build a stronger and longer lasting marriage, right?. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case. A 2001 study from the Interpersonal Relations and Group Process found that, and I quote…. “As newlyweds, the couples who divorced after 7 or more years were almost giddily affectionate, displaying about one third more affection than did spouses who were later happily married.” So interestingly enough, the passionate, overly romantic love stories that you read about in books and Hollywood movies have a LOWER chance of actually making it in the long run! Who would’ve thunk it?!
Reason 3 – You describe your relationship negatively
A Gottman Institute study conducted a series interviews with several hundred couples asking them various questions about their marriage and their spouse… this was called an “Oral History Interview”. By analyzing the language used in these interviews, the study revealed a strong correlation between divorce rate and contemptuous language. Furthermore, couples that described most aspects of their relationship with endearment stayed together longer. Now, this may not seem like a very groundbreaking study… but it’s important to take away one big thing from this… and it’s this:
Obviously, no marriage and relationship is perfect, but failing couples tend to zero-in on the problems and fail to recognize the positive aspects of their partners. So the next time somebody asks you how you feel about your marriage, do your best and try and talk about the GOOD things your spouse brings to the table. In fact, do yourself a favour and write down all the things you love about your spouse and the reason why you married them… and make sure you cherish and memorize that list. You’ll be happy that you did!