What is the number one warning sign that predicts divorce?

In a recent article, marriage therapists Drs. John and Julie Gottman propose four factors that can predict divorce. The four factors appear to be rooted in the characteristics of a dysfunctional marriage. The number one warning sign that predicts divorce is whether or not the man is serving God.

According to the article – 4 Warning Signs Marriage Therapists Use to Predict Divorce – the four signs that predict divorce are:

  1. Attacking the Person, Not the Behavior
  2. Felling or Expressing Contempt Toward Your Spouse
  3. Always being on the defensive (Even If You Don’t Realize It
  4. Stonewalling, Shutting Down or Walking Out

The four signs outline are also are product of a dysfunctional organization which include a marriage that is heading to divorce.

The Dysfunctional Organization

Dysfunctional organizations exhibit several characteristics that are detrimental to its existence. There are five different levels that contribute to a dysfunctional organization. The foundation for the dysfunctional organization begins with each person’s use of defense mechanisms for coping. Defense mechanisms are the unwritten rules an individual learns and utilizes to effectively deal with circumstances that are upsetting, embarrassing, or threatening.

The second level is skilled incompetence, which is the outcome of the defense mechanisms we have internalized. When the defensive behaviors we’ve learned are transformed into a learned behavior, that behavior becomes a skill – albeit an incompetent skill – that we consider necessary in order to deal with issues that are embarrassing, threatening, or upsetting. A skill that is learned from the regular application of a defense mechanism has a high degree of incompetence embedded within it, because we are unaware of how this skill will impact our future.

Skilled incompetence transforms into a defensive routine. Defensive routines are the third level. When the skilled incompetence is automatically exhibited at all times, the behavior is now a defensive routine.

Defensive routines lead to fancy footwork. Fancy footwork is the fourth level. Fancy footwork happens when individuals try to deny the behavioral inconsistencies they exhibit, or else they place blame on other people, which results in distancing themselves from taking responsibility for their behavioral inconsistencies.

Fancy footwork leads to organizational malaise. Organizational malaise is the final level. During this phase the individuals in the organization – which in a church includes church leaders – will seek to find fault within the organization rather than accept responsibility for their actions and correct their behavior accordingly. The individual continues the process by accentuating the negative and deemphasizing the positive in an effort to cover up their actions. The organizational malaise is further exacerbated by a refusal of one or all the members to discuss their area of responsibility.

A marriage that is heading for divorce is a dysfunctional organization. The major reason why marriages are heading to divorce is because they don not replicate the original design for marriage and are therefore dysfunctional. The first factor that keeps a marriage from becoming dysfunctional and leading to divorce is that the husband must be a servant as outlined in Genesis 2:15.

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it (Genesis 2:15).

Dressing and keeping the Garden of Eden was Adams original purpose. The word ‘dress’ in the Hebrew is ‘abad, which means to work as a servant. The word ‘keep’ in the Hebrew is shamar, which means to protect. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to work as a servant in the garden and to protect the garden. Protecting the garden required that Adam become the steward of the garden. God granted Adam stewardship over the Garden of Eden. Stewardship requires a relationship between the master and the one that the master entrusts with the resources. In this case, God is the master and He entrusted the Garden of Eden to Adam.

According to Genesis 2:15, the number one priority for the husband is to be a servant of God. Men who choose not to serve God are headed for extensive troubles in their marriage which will eventually lead to divorce.

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In Christ,

Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012 (856) 566-3267 www.advancedmarriagetraining.com

Published books – Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land -Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives) – Advanced Marriage Training for Singles

All Three     Advanced 2

“I was blessed by the love and sensitivity that you and your wife showed during the presentation”.

Bishop Joseph P. Ravenell

Samaritan Baptist Church

Trenton, NJ “I would highly recommend you to any church or organization desiring to provide their people with timely marital wisdom and practical application skills”.


Dr. James E. Woods, II

El Shaddia Christian Assembly

Philadelphia, PA

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