Behavior patterns that might predict divorce

A great deal of research within the social sciences is directed at learning more about interpersonal relationships, and especially matters related to marriage and divorce. One researcher has studied the behavior patterns that couples engage in that most often lead to divorce. Both patterns relate to how a couple deals with conflict, but the two approaches sit at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. For Colorado spouses who recognize one of these patterns within their own marriage, it may be time to consider taking action to strengthen the marital bond.

The first pattern of behavior involves becoming mired in a cycle of negativity. This occurs when an issue leads to a high level of contention between spouses, but the matter is never properly resolved. The spouses begin to relate to one another in a negative manner, and their relationship begins to spiral downward. For many, it is virtually impossible to climb out of the negative cycle and repair the damage that has been done to the marriage.

The other destructive pattern of behavior involves spouses who refuse to address conflict at all. These are the couples who take the “agree to disagree” approach. While avoiding conflict may work for a period of time, couples who do not have strong conflict resolution skills can find that tension and resentment will build up over time. The end result is often one or both spouses realizing that they would be happier on their own, or with a new partner.

Colorado spouses who recognize one of these patterns within their own marriage should make a serious assessment of how they and their partner approach conflict, and work to find a better balance between constant negativity and complete avoidance. In some cases, a significant level of relationship damage has already been done, and divorce may offer the best possible solution. For those who move beyond a marriage where conflict resolution was a divisive issue, lessons are learned that can be put to use in future partnerships, leading to greater levels of happiness and contentment.

Source:, “Psychologist says these 2 patterns of behavior are the most common signs that a couple is going to divorce“, Erin Brodwin, June 11, 2015

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