The Four Horsemen for the Apocalypse of Marriage

In Gottman's research, he found that there are four main factors that predict divorce: criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. These four components have come to be known as the Four Horsemen for the Apocalypse of Marriage, and the presence of these factors in a relationship, particularly contempt, are red flags for potential divorce among couples.

Criticism: pointing out to the other person his or her faults; condemnation of the person's character. Women more likely to criticize their partner.

Defensiveness: denying responsibility to certain subjects that arise during disagreements.

Contempt: the most detrimental of the Four Horsemen; making superior comments to the other person to make them feel as if they are on a lower plane.

Stonewalling: having no reaction or refusing to participate in the conversation. Men are more likely to stonewall their partner when having a discussion or argument.

To listen to John Gottman speak about the Four Horsemen, follow the link below: