How To Unleash The Beautiful Emotion That Transforms Relationships (M)

The transformative power of this emotion in romantic relationships.

The transformative power of this emotion in romantic relationships.

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The Childhood Sign That Your Adult Relationships Will Last (M)

The one thing that predicts satisfying romantic relationships.

The one thing that predicts satisfying romantic relationships.

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The Type Of Arguments That Reveal If A Couple Is Really Unhappy Or Not

How to decide which fights are worth having.

How to decide which fights are worth having.

Every couple argues, but happy couples focus on solving issues that can be solved, research finds.

The key is being able to choose which issues need to be tackled and which can safely be left on the back burner.

Issues like household chores and how to spend leisure time are more solvable — so happy couples tend to talk about them.

Difficult or intractable issues, like physical intimacy and health problems, tend to be avoided by happy couples.

These issues can lead to embarrassment and conflict, which is why happy couples avoid them.

Dr Amy Rauer, the study’s first author, said:

“Happy couples tend to take a solution-oriented approach to conflict, and this is clear even in the topics that they choose to discuss.”

The study included two age groups of happy couples: 57 couples were in their 30s and 64 couples were in their 70s.

All were asked to rank their most to least serious relationship issues.

The most serious issues were money, leisure time activities, intimacy, household and communication.

Older couples added health to this list of serious issues.

The least serious issues were jealousy, religion and family.

Observing the couples revealed that they focused on issues that could be resolved, such as how to spend leisure time and manage household chores.

Dr Rauer said:

“Rebalancing chores may not be easy, but it lends itself to more concrete solutions than other issues.

One spouse could do more of certain chores to balance the scales.

Focusing on the perpetual, more-difficult-to-solve problems may undermine partners’ confidence in the relationship.”

More difficult issues, like health problems and physical intimacy, tended to be avoided.

Issues like these are likely to be embarrassing and lead to more conflict.

Dr Rauer said:

“Since these issues tend to be more difficult to resolve, they are more likely to lead to less marital happiness or the dissolution of the relationship, especially if couples have not banked up any previous successes solving other marital issues.”

The results also showed that couple together for longer tended to argue less, suggesting they knew which fights were worth picking.

Dr Rauer said:

“If couples feel that they can work together to resolve their issues, it may give them the confidence to move on to tackling the more difficult issues.”

The study was published in the journal Family Process (Rauer et al., 2019).

The Toxic Family Ties That Are The Most Challenging Relationships You’ll Ever Face (M)

Relationships were labelled ‘difficult’ when the other person demanded support, but did not reciprocate.

Relationships were labelled 'difficult' when the other person demanded support, but did not reciprocate.

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The Percentage Of Men And Women Open To Multiple Partners

Up to 5 percent of people in the U.S. report they are currently in  a consensual non-monogamous relationships.

Up to 5 percent of people in the U.S. report they are currently in  a consensual non-monogamous relationships.

One-third of men are open to having more than one wife or long-term girlfriend, research finds.

Considerably fewer (9 percent), though, were open to the idea that they would share their partner with someone else.

The corresponding figures were much lower for women:

  • 11 percent of women agreed they would be open to having more than one husband.
  • 5 percent would be open to sharing their partner with someone else.

Polyandry and polygyny

The conclusions come from a survey of almost 400 people in the UK.

Participants were asked how they felt about both polyandry and polygyny, two different types of polygamy:

  • Polyandry is when a women has two or more husbands (or long-term partners).
  • Polygyny is when a man has two or more wives (or long-term partners).

Dr Andrew Thomas, the study’s first author, explained the results:

“Comparing polygyny and polyandry directly, men were three-and-a-half times more likely to say ‘yes’ to the former than the latter, while women were twice as likely to say ‘yes’ to having more than one partner, compared to the idea of sharing their partner with someone else.”

While most Western countries stigmatise and discriminate against polygyny and polyandry, they are practiced by some cultures in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Dr Thomas said:

“Committed non-monogamy has received a lot of attention recently.

It’s a hot trend, with more and more couples talking about opening up their relationships to include other people.

However, these types of relationships are far from new.

While most seek monogamous relationships, a small proportion of humans have engaged in multi-partner relationships throughout human history, especially polygynous marriage where one husband is shared by several co-wives.

This study shows that a sizable minority of people are open to such relationships, even in the UK where such marriages are prohibited.

Interestingly, many more men are open to the idea than women—though there is still interest on both sides.”

Jealousy and dissatisfaction?

Despite the stigma, up to 5 percent of people in the U.S. report they are in consensual non-monogamous relationships.

Some research has suggested that those in consensual non-monogamous relationships are just as happy as those in monogamous relationships (Wood, 2018).

Dr Jessica Wood, author of that previous study said:

“[Non-monogamous relationships] are perceived as immoral and less satisfying.

It’s assumed that people in these types of relationships are having sex with everyone all the time.

They are villainized and viewed as bad people in bad relationships, but that’s not the case.”

Another study has found that levels of satisfaction and trust are similar in both monogamous and non-monogamous relationships (Conley et al., 2017).

Indeed, levels of jealousy were higher in monogamous relationships, while trust was higher in non-monogamous relationships.

For some people, then, having a second sexual partner is not necessarily a sign of dissatisfaction with the first, but perhaps an acknowledgement that it is hard to get everything one needs from one person.

Related

The study was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior (Thomas et al., 2023).

The 7 Warning Signs Of Intimate Partner Violence (M)

The more often warning signs like these are observed, the more likely violence becomes.

The more often warning signs like these are observed, the more likely violence becomes.

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4 Personality Traits That Predict The Happiest Marriages

These personality traits are linked to a genetic variation that can be detected from a saliva sample.

These personality traits are linked to a genetic variation that can be detected from a saliva sample.

People who are emotionally stable, empathetic and sociable have the happiest marriages, research finds.

Low levels of anxious attachment are also important to relationship satisfaction.

In contrast, people high in anxious attachment are ‘needy’ and worry that their partners do not care for them.

High levels of attachment anxiety are also linked to a fear of abandonment.

So, low levels of anxious attachment are preferable in a partner.

All these personality traits are linked to a genetic variation that can be detected from a saliva sample, new research has found.

The genetic variation affects a neurotransmitter called oxytocin.

Oxytocin — sometimes known as the ‘love hormone’ — is important in social bonding.

Researchers found that when one partner in a marriage had this genetic variation linked to oxytocin, both reported greater marital satisfaction and feelings of security.

The conclusions come from a study of 178 married couples aged 37 to 90.

All were asked about their marital satisfaction and had their genotype analysed from a saliva sample.

The results revealed that those with a genetic variation known as the ‘GG genotype’ had higher marital satisfaction.

Dr Joan Monin, the study’s first author, said:

“This study shows that how we feel in our close relationships is influenced by more than just our shared experiences with our partners over time.

In marriage, people are also influenced by their own and their partner’s genetic predispositions.”

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE (Monin et al., 2019).

This Is How Long It Takes To Recover From A Breakup

While breakups are painful, most people recover and even gain some strength from them.

While breakups are painful, most people recover and even gain some strength from them.

Self-esteem takes around one year to recover from a relationship breakup, psychological research finds.

It did not matter if people remained single or not in this period, it still took the same amount of time for self-esteem to recover.

However, while breakups are painful, most people recover and even gain some strength from them, the study’s authors write:

“Even though relationship break-ups are painful, people tend to recover from them and move on.

Especially in adolescence and young adulthood, when individuals are dating, have their first romantic relationship, try different types of relationships, and search the right partner to spend their life with, relationship breakups are not unusual and, thus, normative.

…individuals tend to report positive changes after experiencing relationship break-up, such as gaining inner strength and maturity, and report having learned important lessons that will be useful in future relationships.”

The conclusions come from over 9,000 German adults who were followed for three years.

The results showed that breakups of relationships that had lasted a year or more are particularly damaging to self-esteem.

Subsequently starting a new relationship increased self-esteem, as long as the new relationship lasts.

However, shorter relationships — those lasting less than a year — tended to reduce people’s self-esteem.

Recovery from a breakup took around one year, the authors write:

“…the decrease in self-esteem after a relationship break-up is only temporary and that the person’s self-esteem is recovered already one year later.

Thus, although research on many psychological phenomena suggests that “bad is stronger than good” —that is, the effects of negative events, negative interactions, and negative emotions are often stronger than the effects of positive events, positive interactions, and positive emotions—in the present research the effect of beginning a relationship (i.e., a positive transition) was more sustained than the effect of relationship break-up (i.e., a negative transition).”

The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Luciano & Orth, 2017).

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