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The decision to divorce is not one easily made. In fact, studies suggest that couples may spend a long time trying to repair their marriage, and that they may think of divorce long before they decide whether or not they should file. Some never do, possibly because they found their troubles to be situational, or they were able to work through what seemed to be irreconcilable differences. Others do finally call it quits. How do you determine if you are in the latter group? The following information may give you some insight as to whether or not your marriage could be on the path to divorce.

You Notice More Negative Than Positive

One of the first signs that a relationship is headed for divorce is an increase in negative interactions, such as nagging, hurtful sarcasm, complaining, and criticism. At first, the effect might seem subtle (as few as 1.2 negative interactions to one positive can be a predictor to divorce), but the erosive nature of negativity can, over time, increase its frequency. So, if negative interactions dominate your relationship, your marriage could be in serious trouble and, in some cases, may be beyond repair.

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Couples do not get married with the intent of eventually filing for divorce, yet it happens to approximately 2,000 couples per year. A psychologist at the University of Washington and founder of the Gottman Institute says he and a colleague at the University of California at Berkeley can predict which ones it might happen to with an accuracy of about 93 percent. They reportedly did so by identifying four behaviors commonly found in the relationships of divorcing couples.

Contempt

Deemed the "kiss of death" by the study authors, contempt is a mixture of anger and disgust that goes well beyond that of frustration or negativity; you literally see your partner as beneath you, rather than your equal, and this can lead to all kinds of problems. Instead of feeling compassion or empathy when your partner makes a mistake, you close yourself off and consider yourself smarter, more sensitive than, or just outright better than your partner. And, because you have already decided that your spouse's opinions and feelings are not valid, you are highly unlikely to even attempt to see matters from his or her point of view.

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