People don't get married with the expectation that the union will end in divorce, but this is the sad reality for many people. Some divorces come as surprises for one of the spouses, but this isn't always the case. Divorce is difficult for those involved, whether the event is a surprise or something that was expected.
If you are married, you should watch for signs that your marriage might be in trouble. Here are some predictors of divorce that have been noted by scientists who study the event.
There is contempt
Contempt on the part of either spouse can signal that the marriage is in trouble. Behaviors such as eye rolling, sneers, name calling, and similar things are signs of disrespect and attacks on the spouse who is the recipient of this behavior. Any disrespect can mean that the marriage is in trouble, so this must be addressed right away if you want to save your marriage.
One spouse withdraws
Withdrawing from the martial relationship, in all or in part, is a huge problem. Marriage must include open communication and mutual attraction. When either spouse stops communicating with the other spouse or from the physical and emotional aspects of the relationship, there is a good chance that the union won't last without work.
Criticism rules your house
Constructive criticism is fine in a marriage and should be accepted as a bid to help improve things. When the criticism turns into attacks or simply pointing out that things aren't perfect and a personal blame is placed, things aren't looking good. You should beware of statements that start with personal attacks like "you never" because these almost always signal a bad pattern of behavior.
Defensiveness is common
When the attacks that were just discussed lead to one spouse being defensive or when the situation devolves to the point that both spouses are defensive, a marital reset is necessary or divorce is imminent. Both spouses need to take the time to realize that a marriage is a team, not a competition. Take the time to truly listen to your spouse and respect his or her feelings.
Your marriage must be built on respect and love. While you might not like everything your spouse does, you should be tolerant of the quirks that might drive you crazy. When this doesn't work or if your spouse is the one pushing for divorce, you need to make sure that you take steps to protect your interests.