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Four Things That Doom Relationships - Lifestyle Articles - Love Ambassadors Ministries


by Pastor Andrew Okwe

A powerful research into marriage spanning over forty years revealed a lot of answers to many marriage and relationship problems. Couples that thrive (who were called ‘Masters’) and couples that don’t (who were called ‘Disasters’) showed certain peculiar characteristics. It would be a worthy goal to strive to become a Master and not a Disaster.

In this three-part article you will learn:

    - The four things that doom relationships
    - The three things that prevent those four things
    - The most important part of any relationship conversation
    - The single best predictor of whether a relationship is working. It’s so easy you can do it in two minutes)

You want to be a master and not a disaster? Not let’s get to the meat of it. This week we will look at the first part of the discuss, which is the four things that doom relationships.


From the study of thousands of couples for over 40 years four things came up again and again that indicated a relationship was headed for trouble. The Disasters did them a lot and the Masters avoided them.

CRITICISM - This is when someone points to their partner and says their personality or character is the problem. “Criticism is staging the problem in a relationship as a character flaw in a partner. The Masters did the opposite. They point a finger at themselves and they really have a very gentle way of starting up the discussion, minimizing the problem and talking about what they feel and what they need.” Ladies are you listening? Because criticism is something women do a lot more than men. Don’t worry we will get to how the guys screw up too.

DEFENSIVENESS – This is responding to relationship issues by counter attacking or whining. It is a natural reaction to being criticised. It takes two forms: counter attacking or acting like an innocent victim and whining. Again, the Masters were very different even when their partner was critical. They accepted the criticism, or even took responsibility for part of the problem. They said, “talk to me, I want to hear how you feel about this.”

CONTEMPT – It’s the number one predictor of break ups. Contempt is acting like you’re a better person than they are. “Contempt is talking down to their partner. Being insulting or acting superior. Not only did it predict relationship break ups, but it predicted the number of infectious illnesses that the recipient of contempt would have in the next four years when health was measured.”

STONE WALLING – It’s shutting down or tuning out. It passively tells your partner, “I don’t care.” And 85% of the time its guys who do this.

Okay that’s what kills a relationship. So next article we will see the three things that prevent those four things.