A relationship between two people has a distinct signature. It is the sound of two instruments echoing the same song—harmonizing like the octaves on a piano. Defensiveness, Indifference, Criticism, and above all Contempt: these four notes unlike any other create dissonance within a melody, (Gladwell, 2007).
Contempt is the feeling that you are beneath consideration; below someone’s standard. It is expressed through tone of voice, body language, spoken words, even movement of the eyes. It is also the greatest predictor that a relationship will fail (Gottman, 1998). Research conducted on couple interactions found that contempt, even at its earliest and most minimal stages, had a high correlation with divorce and broken relationships.
Love must be without hypocrisy. (Romans, 12:9).
Further Study: What Makes Love Last by John Gottman
Reference: (Gladwell, 2007) (Gottman, 1998)