John Gottman has spent 40 years researching marriages. He is the author of the book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
In the book, Gottman deflates some of the myths as to why marriages go bad. Specifically, he uses The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse as a metaphor to describe the communication styles that signal the marriage is in big trouble.
He lists Four Horsemen as:
On Gottman’s blog, he gives examples of each. It’s worth the read and taking time to learn the warning signs. At the very least, following Gottman’s advice can keep you from coming across to your spouse (and other observers) like a dick. The upside is that the awareness he helps you to develop can save your marriage.