According to research from the Gottman Institute the number one predictor of a breakup is how many times a couple ignores or turns away from each other during attempts to interact. For example a wife may ask their husband if he had a good day as they both get home from work but instead of replying he heads off to the kitchen without saying a word. Or a wife may ignore her husband in bed when he tries to ask her how her day went.
Over time ignoring each other only leads to increasing animosity and a cycle of resentment. Ignoring or turning away from each other consistently is a sign that one or both partners have a negative and contemptuous view of one another: That the other person’s feelings don’t matter. In a cycle like this emotional and physical needs get broken, creating an ever-decreasing spiral into a breakup.
Couples with long-lasting relationships always communicate well most of the time no matter how they are feeling. Even after an argument they will still take an interest in how their partner is and ask how their day went. This consistent interaction allows a couple to weather the normal storms of any healthy relationship. Even in the most healthy relationships there will always be times of conflict, the important difference between couples that will last, and couples that won’t, is that the long-lasting couples will still turn towards each other no matter how angry or upset they are feeling at one another.
Takeaway: The number one secret of couples that have long-lasting relationships is that they communicate no matter how they feel.
For more excellent research-based relationship advice I recommend John Gottman’s book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: