Marriage Breakdown 101: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse


Famed Psychologist and Marriage Researcher Dr. John Gottman has identified 4 communication behaviors that are signs of a marriage breakdown.


Dr. Gottman named these behaviors The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Before you start thinking your relationship is doomed or you’re headed for a marriage breakdown, these behaviors are often reversible.


The first step is being aware that you and your partner are engaging in these destructive behaviors. Also, all couples use these behaviors at times, but what’s important is how often they occur.


Marriage Breakdown 101: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse


  • 1. Contempt = Talking down to your partner with hurtful and mean sarcasm and humor. Often passive-aggressive humor and hurtful putdowns are used while talking about random topics.
  • 2. Criticism = This is complaining on steroids. You not only complain about what your partner is doing but you make your partner a bad person. Your partner is no longer a mistake prone human being who did something stupid, but is now a complete and utterly stupid person.
  • 3. Defensiveness = Reacting to your partner by blaming everything on your partner or others, making yourself the victim and taking zero responsibility for the status of your relationship.
  • 4. Stonewalling = Checking out of the conversation both mentally and emotionally. Taking steps to avoid the real issues.


The 5 minute video below will show you these behaviors in action so you know what they look like



Say Yes to Love,

Dr. Michael Arn & Dr. Ashley Arn