According to Business Insider, showing contempt is one of the main predictors of divorce. Also known as one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, contempt is when one partner shows an attitude of disgust and superiority towards the other spouse. The other three horsemen are criticism, stonewalling and defensiveness.

The chances of divorce increase if the parents of one spouse also ended their marriage. The chance increase significantly if the parents of both spouses divorced. Other signs include increased stress in the relationship, lack of higher education, marrying too young or too old, childless couples and higher net worth couples.

Other signs that a divorce should occur is when there are signs of emotional abuse. According to PsychCentral, psychological abuse often occurs subtly over time, so it is hard for the victim to recognize it is happening. The abuser is manipulative and needs to be in control, and his or her actions greatly affect the victim’s self-esteem.

Some signs of this type of abuse include

  • Withdrawal of money or affection
  • Isolation from family members and friends
  • Unreasonable jealousy and checking up
  • Use of put-downs, sarcasm and mean jokes
  • Moodiness
  • Guilt trips

An abuser expertly makes everything the victim’s fault. The abuser can also be very charming when around others, and there are periods of time when the victim receives compliments and gifts to counteract the bad treatment.

How to fix issues

If a couple is able to identify some of the signs of a struggling marriage, therapy may help them change their behaviors toward each other. However, when it comes to emotional abuse, experts say it is almost impossible to change the abuser. In this situation, ending the marriage in a safe way is usually the only way to fix things.