Can Divorce Be Predicted? by Lane Jordan Burday

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

(Philippians 2:4)

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

(James 1:19)

I believe that one of the worst problems in our world today is the disintegration of marriages, which then turns into the disintegration of families. And unfortunately, this pattern repeats itself. Every child deserves to have both parents in their lives to love, support, and lead them.

I hope this information will be a blessing to your marriage.

New Research

Researchers who have studied over 40,000 couples can predict divorce with 94% accuracy largely based on this communication error. This is much needed as about 40% of first marriages end in divorce.

John Gottman, Ph.D., a relationship and marriage researcher and therapist, cofounded The Gottman Institute, alongside his wife, psychologist Julie Gottman, Ph.D. The institute provides data on divorce probability and tips for successful marriages.

In their report, they mention that this sounds very simple, but whether or not a couple “turns toward” one another can make a massive difference in the relationship’s longevity.

When a couple turns toward each other, they make and respond to what we call “bids for connection,” the Gottmans wrote in a CNBC article.

What is ‘turning toward’ one another?

While turning toward can look like a small gesture of acknowledgment and care, it signals to your partner that they are being seen, heard, and appreciated.

“Bids for connection” can range from little things, like trying to catch your attention by calling out your name, to big things, like asking for deeper needs to be met.

Happy couples turn toward their partner 20 times more than couples in distress, according to their findings.

Six years after the wedding, couples who stayed together turned toward one another 86% of the time compared to 33% of the time for couples who got divorced.

The Gottman Institute found that the response to a bid is a critical part of a healthy marriage, no matter the simple requests. “Come make a cheese board with me” may also mean “join me on an adventure” or “I want to spend quality time with you.” If you mention you are unable to be there at this time, just acknowledging your spouse is positive.

The Four Horsemen

“The four horsemen” is a term they use to share the worst negative communication styles that heavily predicted: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Stonewalling can look like “tuning out, turning away, acting busy, or engaging in obsessive or distracting behaviors.”

As Christians, we have the Word of God to help us stay kind and attentive to our spouses. And most importantly, if we honor them, we can turn our selfish ways away from these negative responses.

Each day, look for how you can serve your spouse, anticipating their needs, taking responsibility when needed, and keeping your fondness for one another. And the best way? Pray with each other every day, while walking with the Lord together.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)


Lane Jordan-Burday is the Pearls of Promise Ministries Prayer Co-Coordinator; POP Talk TV and Radio Co-Host and Writer. She is also is an award-winning and best-selling author of over ten adult and children’s books. She is a speaker with Stonecroft Ministries, seminar leader, professional life coach, Bible teacher, and artist. She served as the Associate Producer for the program In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. She prays for women to come to know the Lord is God!

Lane’s latest book, Evangeline, is a historical fiction based on the book of Esther. You can reach Lane at: Her website:

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