A marriage therapist has come up with six indicators that could be a sign that your marriage is heading for a divorce, including the habit of avoiding conflict or lack of conflict resolution skills. Dr. John Gottman, a marriage and family therapist who has conducted studies over the span of 40 years to determine the predictors of divorce, has revealed six characteristics of communication the can predict the likelihood of divorce with 91 percent accuracy, according to the Huffington Post. The number one predictor of divorce is harsh start-ups. Approaching a conversation or conflict with sarcasm, accusations, criticism or derogatory comments is dangerous for a marriage, he said. Initiating a conversation harshly will likely result in an acrimonious ending without resolution, he added. Dr. Gottman identifies contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling as the four horsemen. His research showed that these characteristics of communication with partners drastically increase the likelihood of divorce. He defined the next characteristic of communication as flooding. When partners suddenly attack each other with criticism or contempt, leaving the other feeling shell shocked, this results in disengagement and often, over time, leads to contempt, he explained. Next is body language. When one or both partners become overwhelmed and flooded, it results in physiological changes in the body. Increased heart rate, a secretion of adrenaline and an increase in blood pressure occur and these physiological responses preclude the ability to effectively resolve conflict. According to Dr. Gottman, flooding triggers a fight or flight response, resulting in disengagement and/or stonewalling by your partner. Anther warning sign that your marriage will end is when attempts to repair failed. If conflict is not resolved or stonewalled by one partner, the likelihood of divorce increases, the researcher stated. The last predictor is preserving bad memories. Couples who get stuck viewing their relationship through a negative lens end up rewriting history that is often distorted. This extreme negative outlook impacts the historical, present and future perception of the relationship and contributes to the demise of a marriage, Dr. Gottman added.Source: ANI << Alzheimer’s Disease is Simply a Form of Brain Diabetes Brain Networks That Encourage Empathy Suppress Analytical T... >> Recommended Reading How to Save your marriage You can save your marriage - even when your partner insists on a divorce. READ MORE Divorce: Pros and Cons Divorce can be traumatic for children and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. Couples should realize that joined parenting is important even after divorce. READ MORE Infidelity Infidelity is no longer seen as a midlife crisis alone because younger people are beginning to cheat on their spouses READ MORE Is Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married? The stigma linked to staying single is gradually disappearing. More people opt to stay single and many even claim to be happier. But there are both advantages and disadvantages to staying single. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Sanatogen Hearing Loss Calculator Daily Calorie Requirements More News on: How to Save your marriageDivorce: Pros and ConsIs Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married?