After decades of research marriage experts have finally uncovered exactly what makes a relationship break down.
With more than 40 years’ experience working with couples under his belt, John Gottman, founder of The Gottman Institute, picked up on an interesting trend.
He realised one trait linked all the failed relationships, and was the highest predictor for an impending divorce.
And the answer? Contempt.
But more interestingly, he figured out how to fix it too.
Every couple has their disagreements and arguments, but it is when the eye rolling begins, the superiority kicks in and the disgust settles that the lawyers are called.
Passive aggressiveness can also be a subtle hint contempt has already permeated the marriage.
Mike McNulty, from the institute, told Cosmopolitan: "For example, when discussing how to keep their home tidy, one partner may say to the other, 'In my family, we cared more about our house.'
“The unspoken ending to that sentence is, 'than your family did', the implication is: 'My family is superior to yours.'
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"Besides the eye roll, another sign is the lifting of the upper lip to make a sneer.
"It's an overall attitude of disgust at one's partner and/or a sense of superiority."
But there is no need to divide the fine china just yet, as Mr McNulty handily gave some top tips on how to pull a relationship back from the brink.
For starters, stop rolling your eyes at your other half, even if behind their back.
Giving expectations a reality check, putting yourself in their shoes and dialogue were simple steps we all know but need to be reminded of sometimes, he said.
And with official statistics showing a whopping 42 per cent of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce, the advice is much needed.Reuse content