Couples who follow 2 basic rules when they argue tend to be happier and stay together longer

couple talking in window

Disagreements are an important part of any relationship.
If you want to keep your arguments productive and avoid causing undue harm, two leading psychologists say there are a couple of basic rules you should follow.
Decades of research suggest that these guidelines can help build and strengthen a relationship instead of causing more friction.

Arguments don’t have to be devastating.

On the contrary, disagreements are an important aspect of any relationship. But if you want a dispute to be productive and avoid causing undue harm, two leading psychologists say there are some simple rules you should follow.

Couples who approach disagreements this way tend to be happier overall and even stay together longer, their research suggests.

Don’t wait too long to talk about a disagreement

Psychologists Robert Levenson and John Gottman learned a lot from spending 14 years studying nearly 100 married couples. Over the years they observed the pairs, roughly one in five got divorced — a common phenomenon that allowed the researches to draw some key observations about what went wrong.

The researchers found some notable commonalities among the couples who stayed together compared with those who split up. Many of these trends had to do with the way people argued.

Disagreements, Gottman told Business Insider, could either be used in a positive way, as a means of “stabilizing a rocking boat,” or they could be used negatively, potentially leading the vessel to capsize.

The best way to guarantee that an argument will fit with the former scenario is to have it soon, Gottman said.

Waiting too long can lead to built up or oversized feelings of discontent, anger, and confusion. Not only do couples forget what the argument was initially about, they may have disproportionate responses to the initial situation that no longer track with what really happened. In that case, by the time a couple gets to talking about whatever the controversial subject was, there’s no straightforward way to address the problem.

A study of 145 couples published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology found that couples who received trainings on how to address conflicts immediately and clearly felt more satisfied with their relationship a year down the road. Couples who didn’t receive the training were also more likely to see their interactions deteriorate during the year they were reporting back to the researchers.

Instead of waiting for a disagreement to fester like an open wound, talk to your partner as son as you can. …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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