4 Differences Between Divorced Vs. Married Couples

4 Differences Between Divorced Vs. Married CouplesWant to know how to make love last? Learn these 4 important differences between divorced vs. married couples.

By now it’s about 10 years ago I moved apartments.

When I packed to leave, I discovered I had over 700 books – many of them books with interesting research studies.

I decided it was time to edit my book collection from 700 books to 100.

I made sure that Dr. John Gottman’s books were absolutely brought with me.

I love his tools – and include them in many of my books and in my Secrets of Happy Couples Video Course.

Here’s some of what Gottman has researched and discovered.

4 Differences Between Divorced Vs. Married Couples

1. Respect and consistent daily affection are the two top essentials for successful relationships.

Also – criticism and contempt are the top two destroyers.

2. Couples who remain married vs. divorced often experience just as much conflict — but put in more “repair” — with a 5 to 1 ratio of nice to nasty moments.

Or as Dr. Gottman himself says: “Satisfied couples maintained a five-to-one ratio of positive to negative moments in their relationship, whereas couples heading for divorce allowed that ratio to slip below…to often one-to-one.”

Dr. Gottman’s prescription: If you’re having problems with your honey,add more honey! Give a hug. Cuddle. Compliment.

4 Differences Between Divorced Vs. Married Couples3. Certain kinds of negativity are so deadly to a relationship that Dr. Gottman calls them the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

Usually these four horsemen clip-clop into the heart of a marriage in the following order:

  • criticism
  • contempt
  • defensiveness
  • stonewalling

Research also consistently shows money plays a far lesser role in divorce – usually ranking about fifth in the blame line-up – behind incompatibility, lack of emotional support, abuse and sexual problems.

(Note: According to Olivia Mellan, author of “Money Harmony: Resolving Money Conflicts in Your Life and Relationships” even when couples fight about money, they’re often fighting about underlying problems. Mellan reminds: “Fights about money are usually more about what money represents: dependency, control, freedom, security, pleasure, self-worth.”)

4. Dr. Gottman can predict if a couple will last not based upon how well the two people get along -but by how well they do not get along.


A couple is only as “strong” as their “weakest moments” – how they handle conflict!

There are 3 conflict strategies:

  • avoidance (the worst)
  • fighting (better than avoidance, but still not healthful or helpful)
  • validation (the winning method – which means trying to see things from the other person’s view, and sharing all views with kindness, and the goal of finding a win-win compromise!)


  • When facing conflict, talk with your partner at the speed of life.
  • Do not shut down.
  • Do not attack.
  • And absolutely avoid those 4 Horses Of The Apocalypse.

Learn how to mend – not end – your relationship

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