A good marriage, especially when couples go to marriage counseling, can be one of the happiest parts of life. However, in 2017, the divorce rate was 40-50 percent for couples. Is it possible to predict divorce? John Gottman, renowned relationship expert, discovered four markers of relationship failure with 93 percent accuracy in predicting divorce. Marriage counseling can create change and help couples avoid divorce.
These four indicators, also known as the four horsemen, also the “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse”, are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. The four horsemen are counterproductive behaviors that negatively affect a relationship, and although all relationships participate in these behaviors at times, it is the persistent engagement in these behaviors that mark a difficult relationship in need of marriage counseling and TLC.
Criticism is the first horseman because it is the first behavior that is typically used in couples in conflict. Criticism refers to attacking one’s character or personality, rather than the behavior itself. “You are so lazy” is an example of criticism. Instead, using I statements such as: “It frustrates me when you don’t help out around the house,” targets your partner’s problem behavior without the use of criticism.
The second horseman is defensiveness. Becoming defensive is an easy behavior to engage in when in conflict. The problem with defensiveness is that once you engage in it, you naturally tune out what your partner is trying to say to you and begin making excuses, blaming your partner, and not taking responsibility for your part in the conflict. With marriage counseling with Terri Clinton Dichiser, the spouse can learn about their part of responsibility when conflicts arise.
The third horseman is contempt. You know you are contemptuous when you show blatant disrespect for your partner by doing things like sneering or rolling your eyes. Marriage counseling can help you be aware of your behaviors and understand what it is that you are really upset about and target that rather than using passive-aggressive ways to tell your partner how you feel. This can sometimes be hard to do, but it pays off.
The last horseman is stonewalling, and couples who regularly engage in this behavior are more likely to get divorced. Research shows that this is the most damaging behavior to engage in. Simply put, stonewalling is when you become non-responsive. Marriage counseling with Terri Clinton Dichiser can show you how to work on your marriage, instead of ignoring your behavior. It is important to call now to set up an appointment at Take Charge, Inc. and reverse the Horsemen.
Terri uses Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) to help couples reconnect with one another. She uses therapy and marriage counseling to help couples recognize the patterns they have established in their relationship and offers tools and strategies to break those patterns. EFT is marriage counseling therapy based on 20 years of clinical studies with proven results for couples in crisis.
The longer you wait the harder it can be to repair your relationship. Take Charge now and schedule with Terri at 913-239-8255. Join the more than 90% of couples who sought out marriage counseling and EFT and saw their relationships improve and continue to have strong and growing marital relationship.