While most couples in California go through challenging times, there are some couples who struggle to communicate and make positive changes. There are certain signs that experts identify as being predictors of a pending divorce, and it may help couples to be able to identify what they are.

Marriage therapists are good sources when it comes to relationships, and PsychCentral discusses the four main behaviors that they determine to be the best predictors of divorce. Contempt is the most serious, and it is nonverbal behavior that is meant to psychologically abuse or insult the other partner. Examples of this include:

  • Sarcasm that is hurtful
  • Rolling of the eyes
  • Mocking
  • Name-calling
  • Making mean jokes
  • Sneering

Criticism is another predictor. Rather than attacking the behavior, the criticism attacks the person with the intent to make him or her wrong. This typically causes the attacked partner to get defensive, which starts a dangerous loop because defensiveness is another divorce predictor.

A partner can show defensiveness in a variety of ways. He or she may whine, make excuses, counter complain, act like a victim or repeat oneself without listening to what the other is saying.

Stonewalling in another sign. A person may physically leave or emotionally shut down to avoid conflict. However, this comes off as a sign of smugness, distance, disconnection or disapproval.

Prevention outlines some early signs of divorce that couples may miss or ignore. Lack of communication is a common one, as is making other people and things a priority over the spouse. Other signs are a lack of caring for the other’s feelings, drifting apart and not caring, frequently going out without the other and when one does not want to go home to the spouse.