Uncovering the Secrets of Four Horseman Predictions of Divorce

Uncovering the Secrets of Four Horseman Predictions of Divorce


With 93% accuracy, Dr. John Gottman's Four Horsemen are behaviors that indicate divorce. By identifying them, you can take preventative action.

If your marriage has recently seen some difficulties, you might be wondering where things are going. Couples often fear the word "divorce," and it can be stressful to wonder if you're headed down that path.

Famous Counseling psychologist and relationship specialist Dr. John Gottman has studied married couples with participants for many years.

He found that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse had four traits with couples that were predictive of divorce.

According to Gottman, if your marriage consistently exhibits a mix of these signs, you could be on the verge of separation or divorce. then there is a need to take advice from a Marriage counselor. 

Though there are remedies for each horseman and ways to acquire assistance if you both wish to stay married. 

The apocalypse's four horsemen

When you and your spouse converse, as they say, "Out of the heart the tongue speaks," the Four Horsemen come into play. 

Observe the following:

1. Critique

When you or your spouse criticize the other's conduct, beliefs, personality, appearance, or character, this is referred to as criticism. The use of absolute or superlative phrases distinguishes criticism from just expressing one's feelings or thoughts.

"You usually look so messy and unattractive," the criticism goes. You don't even have a plan for today, am I right? Are you actually this sluggish? 

2. Contempt

A harsher amplification of criticism is contempt. If you and your spouse are speaking to each other with contempt, it may be because you feel better than them and are speaking to them or acting in a condescending manner.

Contempt manifests in a range of communication styles, including:

  • Eye-rolling

  • Name-calling, abusive language, mockery, and sarcasm

I genuinely despise people like you, that is how contempt sounds. It's amazing that you have endured this long, perhaps because of me. I'm sick and weary of your constant bad behaviour! You're useless!

According to Gottman's 1994 research, disdain is the biggest predictor of divorce within the first six years of marriage. Furthermore, a 2019 study found that harboring contempt is a risk factor for illness and poor health. Long-term contempt can harm the relationship and your partner's or your own self-esteem.

3. Defensiveness

When you or your partner refuse to take responsibility when speaking to or about the other, you are being defensive.

This pattern of communication frequently manifests if your partner makes you feel attacked or judged.

Denial, manipulation, or misdirection are all examples of gaslighting, which is a defence tactic used by people who lack or rarely employ effective communication skills.

Spouse: "Did you have time to put away the laundry I requested you to do earlier?" 

 Defensive Response: "Why do you keep bothering me about the laundry when you know I worked a long day?"  Actually, it's your fault that it wasn't completed because I don't believe it was my time!

It's simple to fall into defensiveness, which entails assigning blame, especially if you're feeling overloaded.

4. Stonewalling

The final horseman is when one partner withdraws from the debate; this is known as stonewalling.

If you or your partner is being obstinate, it may appear as:

  • Feigning busyness

  • Absence of eye contact, no dialogue

  • Taking part in pursuits unrelated to the conversation

Stonewalling can occasionally be an indication that a relationship is ending when one person becomes so shut down that they are unable to reach any sort of understanding, attempt any sort of mending, or communicate properly.

This degree of separation may indicate that one partner is no longer able or ready to put out the necessary effort to keep the relationship alive.

What do we do now that we have horsemen in our relationship?

None of the horsemen can alone be used to predict divorce. Some will inevitably drop by now and then. However, if any one or more of the Four Horsemen seem to be a constant in your relationship with your spouse, it may be time to get support.

Living with any of the four running around unrestrained can be difficult and contribute to a poisonous relationship, whether you both want to stay married or separate. You deserve to be healthy and healed. 

Following are the remedies for each horseman that Gottman discovered over his four decades of research:

  • Gentle start (criticism)

  • Assuming accountability (defensiveness)

  • Fostering gratitude (contempt)

  • Psychological comforting (stonewalling)

According to a 2019 study, the same dysfunctional communication patterns that cause divorce may also make it difficult for people to get back together after a divorce.

In this video from the Gottman Institute, you may find out more about the Four Horsemen, the Apocalypse, and their countermeasures.

Couple counselling

Receiving assistance can be crucial if the Four Horsemen are present in your relationship. Couples counselling has a number of advantages. Finding the Best psychologist delhi with Gottman therapy training might be especially helpful. You can search for the Best psychologist near me.

In a 2021 study with 72 Iranian couples, it was discovered that couples who had had online Gottman interventions had more positive communication.

Couple counsellor or Therapist in delhi may have advantages such as teaching healthy conflict resolution techniques, enhancing communication, and enhancing relationship pleasure.

You may also schedule an appointment with renowned, skilled psychologists at the Psychowellness Centre,, which has locations around Delhi NCR, NOIDA, Faridabad, Janakpuri, Dwarka, and Vasant Vihar, to get mental health therapy.

Contribution: Dr (Prof) R K Suri, Clinical Psychologist, life coach & mentor Talktoangel & MS Varshini Nayyar, Psychologist.