It’s been noted that there tend to be four common areas of concern, in all marriages that fail. These areas of concern are destructive behavior patterns that can erode a marriage until collapse is inevitable. These behaviors have been called the four horses of the divorce apocalypse.
There is one quality that is considered antidotal to all of these negative behaviors, that one quality is compassion. With compassion members of even the most corrosive and teetering on the brink marriage have a chance of pulling it out of the ashes. Or, barring that best outcome, at least getting out with some grace intact.
The specific four horses of the divorce apocalypse are condescension, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling. Condescension and criticism result from a mistaken notion that one of us is better than the other one of us. Compassion makes us equals. When we elect to have compassion for our own selves, as well as for our partners, we are far less likely to put up walls, or overreact. So, truly compassion is the ingredient without which a relationship may not survive.
- Dr.John Gottman is known for having analyzed relation ship data to come up with his now well-known four distinctive precursors of divorce.
- These precursors, also knows as the four horses of the divorce apocalypse, are the destructive behaviors of condescension, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling.
- When we develop compassion towards ourselves and towards our partners, we become stronger emotionally and we don’t need to overreact, criticize and put up walls.
“While there are many elements that create a strong relationship, the most vital foundational piece that even strengthens and builds the other elements is, compassion—compassion towards others as well as towards self.”