As some of will testify too, long-term relationships are hard work.

But, it would seem science as found the key component for longevity in a relationship, and aapparently there is one trait that can help or hinder your relationship in a major way.

p.s. it’s not sex.

John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington and the founder of The Gottman Institute, told Business Insider the fate of a relationship lies in the way we argue.

Quick question: when your partner makes a mistake, do you let the anger pass and eventually realize they had no intention of causing harm? Or do you stew in your anger and let it alter your opinion of that person?

If you see yourself choosing the latter, you may experience some trouble keeping your relationship in tact due to a familiar cocktail of anger and disgust called contempt.

And according toGottman, contempt is the kiss of death in any relationship

He claimed contempt can cause you to see your partner as beneath you.

Along with the help of University of California, Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson, Gottman is apparently able to predict divorce with 93% accuracy, thanks (or no thanks?) to the presence of contempt.

The percentage resulted from a 14-year study of 79 Midwestern couples published in 2002. Over the course of the study, 21 of the participating couples divorced.

Moral of the story: before you hit the rage button over your partner, remember you chose to be in this relationship for a reason. Everyone makes mistakes. Let’s focus on our partners’ strengths and keep contempt out of the equation.

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