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Illinois Therapists Weigh in on How to Avoid Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce Attorneys, divorce, avoid divorceThe Huffington Post recently published an article titled “Four Things You’re Likely Doing That Will Eventually Kill Your Marriage.” The illuminating piece includes advice from three different Illinois therapists and psychologists. All of the professionals quoted in the article were trained at the Gottman Institute, an organization that provides research-based training to family and couples counselors. Indeed, these professionals provided advice and the potential relationship pitfalls that may sabotage a marriage.


The therapists cite criticism as one of the toxic behaviors that can doom relationships. They make clear to differentiate criticism from complaint. Complaint is an issue with a behavior that someone is doing, while criticism focuses on who the person is. Instead of criticizing, the professionals recommend thinking about what is really bothering you and what you actually want from your partner. They advise phrasing your criticism as things that you wish your partner would do. This way your partner understands that something is bothering you, while at the same time knowing that it is something that they can change, instead of something inherent about them.


Contempt is exhibited through behaviors like eye rolling, name-calling, and sarcasm. According to the author of this article, Brittany Wong, contempt is the worst of all of these behaviors and is the number one predictor of divorce. The advice that the therapists give to keep contempt out of your relationship is to focus on your own feelings and desires instead of what your partner is not doing. Showing gratitude is an antidote to contempt and the professionals recommend being careful about how you phrase and deliver anything that may come off as contempt.


Many people fall prey to feeling defensive when their partner has an issue with them. The definition of defensiveness that the article uses is the definition directly from The Gottman Institute, which is: “self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or innocent victimhood in attempt to ward off a perceived attack.” Basically, if someone feels like they are being attacked then they may shut down and attempt to fight back. The therapists in this article recommend trying to listen and find something to agree with. Once you have started to listen to your partner’s issues then you can address the issues themselves instead of trying to just fight back.


Finally, stonewalling is another problematic behavior that can lead to divorce. Stonewalling includes the silent treatment or any other acts that keep someone from facing certain issues. Even though it may seem like the peaceful option for the moment, running away or ignoring the issue can hurt the relationship. If you need a break the professionals recommend letting your partner know and then coming back to the issue when you can focus, but make sure not to ignore it afterward.

DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

Though we all hope to avoid it, sometimes divorce is inevitable. If you are thinking about a divorce, it is important to talk to skilled divorce attorneys to find out the best course of action for your situation. Our experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can help you during this difficult time.



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