Engage: Get Ready for Marriage! Part 2

This is a two-part series, and you can read Part 1 here.

I know that a majority of you reading this are seeking pre-marital counseling. Kudos!! However, some of you are avoiding or deciding against pre-marital counseling. If you are not seeking pre-marital counseling or actively working to improve your relationship than you’re not meeting the overall objective of being engaged.

Dr. John Gottman, a leading expert on marriage and divorce, has identified four problematic areas in relationships that are risk factors for divorce. These areas are referred to as the Four Horseman. Using the Four Horseman, Gottman can predict the likelihood of divorce with 96% accuracy. Yes, you read that correctly. Here are the Four Horseman:

  • Criticism– Attacking “faulty”¬† personality characteristics rather than making general complaints
  • Contempt– The best predictor of the demise of a relationship, contempt includes making partner feel inferior through¬† insults and other tactics
  • Defensiveness– Deflecting one’s role in a problem
  • Stonewalling– Tuning out or shutting down

Here is a video clip of Dr. Gottman discussing the Four Horseman:

So, what if you see yourself or your partner in one or more of the Four Horseman? I encourage you to consider exploring pre-marital counseling. Again, identifying and working to improve these relational problems can reduce your relationship’s vulnerability for divorce.

I congratulate you on your recent or upcoming engagement. Remember, planning the wedding is necessary, but one aspect of a greater objective. Engage in your relationship as you get ready for marriage!