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This One Thing Makes Or Breaks A Relationship, According To Researchers

Call it a first world problem, but longterm relationships are hard work.

If you're curious how to hold on to the union you worked so hard to create with your partner, there is apparently one trait that can help or hinder you in a major way.

It's not sex.


It's not hobbies.


It's not in-laws.


John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington and the founder of The Gottman Institute, told Business Insider the fate of a relationship lies in the way its participants argue.


When your man or woman makes a mistake, do you let the anger pass and eventually realize he or she had no intention of causing harm? Or do you stew in your anger and let it alter your opinion of that person?


If you see yourself choosing the latter, you may experience some trouble keeping your relationship in tact due to a familiar cocktail of anger and disgust called contempt.

Gottman said,

Contempt is the kiss of death.

He claimed contempt can cause you to see your partner as beneath you.

Along with the help of University of California, Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson, Gottman is apparently able to predict divorce with 93 percent accuracy, thanks (0r no thanks?) to the presence of contempt.


The percentage resulted from a 14-year study of 79 Midwestern couples published in 2002. Over the course of the study, 21 of the participating couples divorced.

Before you settle into a rage blackout over your man or woman, obsessing over his or her dumb, fat face and tiny dinosaur brain, remember you chose to be in a relationship for a reason.

Everyone makes mistakes. Let's focus on our partners' strengths and keep contempt out of the equation.

Citations: Scientists Work Out The Behaviour Most Likely To Get You Dumped (UNILAD)