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4 communication mistakes that will utterly destroy your marriage

Within 15 minutes, Dr. John Gottman can predict whether a couple will get divorced with 90% accuracy. Here is his advice on how to avoid some of the most destructive communication downfalls.
Katelyn Carmen, FamilyShare Modified: August 20, 2014 at 9:33 pm •  Published: August 21, 2014

Communicating effectively in marriage is one of the most powerful ways that couples can strengthen their relationship.

With 90% accuracy, Dr. John Gottman, a world-renounded marriage researcher can determine whether or not a couple will eventually get divorced. A part of his analysis includes listening closely to their language.

Here are the four most dangerous types of communication that Gottman warns will destory your marriage:


There is a huge difference between giving your spouse loving feedback and attacking their character.

When you criticize your spouse, you are identifying their faults to make them feel bad about themselves. Be careful not to harmfully judge your partner in ways that belittles them or makes them feel inferior to you.

Give them compliments and focus on their strengths. When you speak in terms of their weaknesses, frame them in a positive way. Talk about how their actions affect you, and give suggestions in humility and with love.

Bad example: "You are so lazy! You never pick up after yourself."

Positive example: "I'm having a difficult time keeping up with all the chores, and I'm starting to get frustrated and overwhelmed. Do you mind taking over the dinner dishes? That would be really helpful to me."


If you are name calling, insulting, mocking or ridiculing your spouse, you are verbally abusing them and showing contempt.

Stop it now.

Being mean and rude to your spouse is disrespectful and extremely harmful. They don't deserve it, and neither do you. Even if you are "just joking", it is hostile humor and should be avoided at all costs.

Always show treat your spouse with respect. Find ways to uplift them. Be kind, tender, considerate, and loving.

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