Could Contempt Be Damaging Your Relationship?

Unhappy marriages mostly share something toxic in common: contempt. Contempt is often a overlooked problem that drives a wedge between couples and destroys relationships, according to psychologists like Dr. Gottman and his research on long-lasting marriages. Contempt not only kills the love in a relationship, but can also create physical harm. Studies show that couples who endure marital strife and criticism are less able to fight off viruses and cancers.

People who focus on criticizing their partners often see negativity over positivity. Treating partners with contempt is not the only way to destroy a relationship, but contempt can send you down the road of other undesirable actions like deliberately ignoring your partner and making them feel lonely.

Kindness and emotional stability, on the other hand, are the greatest predictors of satisfaction and stability in a marriage, psychologists say.

Kindness makes each partner feel loved, cared for, understood and valued. Kindness creates a bond in the relationship. Research shows that the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will exhibit kindness. The result can build love, generosity, and longevity in a relationship.

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