Across the country, more than a million annulments and divorces happen every year. While some issues like cheating or irreconcilable differences are cited by many individuals who file for divorce, new research from the University of Washington indicates that one particular behavior could be at fault for most divorce filings. This behavior is contempt.

Researchers from the University of Washington and University of California looked at 79 recently married couples over the course of 14 years. They found out that contempt linked to a superiority complex is a relationship killer for numerous married individuals. Contempt refers to a mix of disgust and anger and it can be extremely toxic when compared with less impactful behaviors like negativity or basic frustration. This involves seeing your partner as someone who is beneath you rather than as an equal partner in your relationship. Over time, these feelings of contempt can become even more detrimental, driving a wedge between you and your spouse.

According to the researchers, contempt was the nail in the coffin for relationships and it could predict divorce as accurately as 93% of the time. Individuals who are experiencing contempt may have difficulty understanding the feelings of another person and relating to this individual which is why it translates in so many situations to divorce. In order to eliminate or minimize the impacts of this relationship killer, be empathetic to the feelings of the other person in your partnership. This can be expressed by being appreciative, understanding, listening, showing affection and generally being warm to the other individual. If you are contemplating filing for divorce in New York, you need to consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney as soon as possible. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx lawyer with over 32 years of experience practicing divorce and family law. Call 718-514-6619 to set up an appointment with Mr. Lutzky or visit to learn more about New York State’s divorce laws.