Contempt is the biggest predictor of divorce, according to relationship experts John and Julie Gottman. Also according to the Gottmans’ long-term research on “master couples” who handle relationship stress and conflict in stride and remain happy, one behavior is the “antidote” to contempt: gratitude. But how do we get into the groove of sharing gratitude with our loved one when we may have never consistently done it before?
Fighting with our loved ones can feel terrifying, and it’s easy – if we don’t know what we’re doing – to get trapped in bad habits that lead to the deterioration of our marriage or long-term relationship. Fortunately, as we discussed earlier, conflict is natural and to be expected. However, there are four behaviors to avoid when in conflict, according to the Gottmans’ copious research.