Skip to content

We speak English, Spanish, Polish, and Greek.

Researchers Say One Communication Mistake Can Put Your Marriage at Risk

Researchers Say One Communication Mistake Can Put Your Marriage at RiskBoth newly married couples and those who have been married for years are always looking for ways to ensure that their marriages are stable and successful, especially since the divorce rate is high in Charlotte, North Carolina and the rest of the country.

To help couples learn what may put their marriages at risk, researchers conducted a study, which provides insight into what can lead you down the path of divorce. Let’s break down that study and the number one communication flaw that you should work on if you want to save or maintain your marriage.

About the new study

According to Fortune Well, a marriage researcher and therapist, John Gottman, and his wife who is a psychologist, Julie Gottman, co-founded The Gottman Institute, which conducts research and releases data to help married couples become informed and aware of the keys to a successful marriage. After several decades of research and looking closely at 40,000 married couples, the Institute recently concluded its most recent study, which found one important factor that has the potential to either make or break your marriage.

So, what is the one communication mistake that can significantly damage your marriage?

The one communication mistake that can significantly damage your marriage is if you and your spouse do not “turn toward” one another. While many people may instantly be confused about how this tiny gesture has the ability to make such a huge difference in the success of their marriages, The Gottman Institute states that they have a 94 percent accuracy rate in predicting divorce and that this one communication flaw “can make a massive difference in the relationship’s longevity.”

A lot of couples may think that turning toward one another is something so small and simple, but the truth is that this small and simple gesture shows that you are trying to form a connection with your partner, which is essential in a strong and long-lasting marriage. It shows your partner that you care about them, acknowledge what they have to say, and that you see and hear what they are telling you.

When a spouse has an issue or simply wants to tell you something about their day, you should turn inward toward them. It is a really small gesture with a big meaning behind it. If your spouse is calling for you to help them with something, expressing how you made them feel during dinner with your friends the other night, or even thanking you for something you bought them and you remain looking and turned the other way, this shows that you are closed off, not listening, and do not care about what they have to say, which can eventually put your marriage in trouble.

The data that The Gottman Institute found includes:

  • Happy couples turn towards their partners around 20 times more than unhappy couples having everyday conversations and discussions.
  • Newlyweds who were still married and going strong six years after their wedding turned towards each other about 86% of the time while in the research lab.
  • Couples who divorced within six years of the marriage only turned toward each other around 33 percent of the time.

Even though some couples may refuse to believe that failing to turn toward one another can potentially cause their marriages to fall apart, The Gottman Institute states that it is actually a very important part of a healthy and successful marriage. If your spouse makes a “bid,” such as “let’s play a boardgame together” or “how about we go for a walk tomorrow,” they are simply asking to spend time with you. However, if you ignore them or say nothing, The Gottman’s research suggests that you have missed the bid, which can severely affect your marriage more than rejecting the bid. If you explain to your spouse that you have something else you need to do but would love to play a board game or go for a walk another day, you at least showed that you acknowledged and heard their bid.

Other communication errors that may put your marriage at risk

A few other communication errors that may put your marriage at risk include:

  • Heavily criticizing your spouse
  • Acting defensive any time there is conflict
  • Stonewalling or turning away from your spouse when they are talking to you
  • Contempt or showing no respect for your spouse

Do you and your spouse have communication issues and believe that divorce is your best option? If so, the Charlotte divorce attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC are here to legally assist you. Our team has decades of experience representing clients who are navigating divorce for various reasons. Therefore, we can look over the facts and details of your claim and provide advice to help you move forward with your life. To get started, please call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a confidential consultation. We have office locations in Charlotte, Boone, Concord, and Weddington for your convenience.