Author Emily Smith states in her article ” Master of Love ” that 3 out of 10 couples that get married remain in a healthy happy relationship as psychologist Ty Tashiro points out in his book ” The Science of Happily Ever After “. June is the most popular month of the year for weddings, every day around 13,000 couples will say ” I do ” and commit to a lifelong relationship that will be based on friendship, joy and love that hopefully will last a lifetime
The Study Of Marriage
Back in the 70’s married couples were divorcing at unprecedented rates and that was the first time social scientists started studying marriage by observing them. they brought couples onto a lab and started looking at them and searching to find ingredients to a healthy lasting relationship. This was an important job as the scientists were worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children.
They hooked the couples up to electrodes and asked them to speak about their relationship, how they met, describe a major conflict they were facing and to share a positive memory they had together. As the couples spoke the electrodes measured their blood flow, heart rate and how much they swaet. Then they sent the couple’s home and followed up on them six years later to see if they were still together.
From the data, they collected they split the couples into two groups. The Masters and the Disasters, the Masters were still happily together after six years and the Disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages.
So what does physiology have to do with anything you ask? well, the problem was that the Disasters group showed all the signs of arousal, they were being in a fight-or-flight mode in their relationships. Having to sit down for a conversation with their spouse was to their bodies like facing off with a tiger” There’s a habit of mind that the masters have, which is this: They are scanning their social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners mistakes”
The Clear Signs
They have found that the number one factor that tears couples apart is Contempt. People who are focused on criticizing their partners miss the 50% of positive things their spouses are doing and can even create negativity when it’s not there!
People who deliberately ignoring their partner or responding minimally or giving them the cold shoulder damage the relationship by making their partner feel worthless and invisible. as if they are not there or not valued, People who treat their partners with contempt and criticize them to nothing but further the damage
The most important predictor of satisfaction in a relationship is Kindness along with emotional stability, Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood and validated, basically feeling loved.
When fighting is the hardest time to practice kindness, but this is also the most important time to be kind, Letting contempt and aggression spiral out of control during a fight can have irrevocable damage to a relationship.” Kindness doesn’t mean that we don’t express our anger, but the kindness informs how we choose to express the anger. You can throw spears at your partner. Or you can explain why you’re hurt and angry, and that’s the kinder path “
People usually think about kindness as generosity, like buying each other small gifts or giving one another back rubs and while those are great examples of generosity, kindness can also be built into the very backbone of a relationship through the way partners interact in their day-to-day basis.
Shared joy is another powerful kindness strategy, One f the telltale signs of the Disasters couples was their inability to connect over each other’s good news. When one partner shared a good news of like a promotion at work with excitement , the other would respond with a wooden disinterest by checking his watch or shutting the conversation down with a comment like ” That’s nice “
There is a lot of stress of a life together and it can pile up, children, career, friends, in-laws and other distractions crowding out the time for romance and intimacy, couples may put less effort into their relationship and let the petty grievances they hold against one another tear them apart
In most marriages, levels of satisfaction drop dramatically within the first few years. But among couples who not only endure, but live happily together for years and years, the spirit of kindness and generosity guides them forward