Masters of Love
Week of Nov 11, 2014
The Atlantic - summary of John Gottman research on lasting relationships
In Relationships, Be Deliberate
Week of Aug 21, 2014
National Marriage Project Report
Silent treatment speaks volumes about a relationship
Week of Aug 04, 2014
Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY
How and Why to Ban the Silent Treatment from Your Relationship
Week of Jun 17, 2014
Elizabeth Bernstein | The Wall Street Journal
Letting yourself be a little crazy
Week of May 23, 2014
— crazy for your partner — pays off
6 Common Habits for Happy Marriage
Week of Mar 14, 2014
After interviewing 10,000 couples in 110 countries around the world, bestselling author of "Happy Wives Club" Fawn Weaver has identified six practices that happy partners have in common. Some you might not expect.
Couples, the Internet, and Social Media
Week of Feb 21, 2014
New Pew Research Center Survey
Watch a movie together and talk about it.
Week of Feb 04, 2014
Univ of Rochester Study
A University of Rochester study finds that watching and discussing movies about relationships is as effective in lowering divorce rates as other, more intensive early marriage counseling programs. Read More
Want to Stop Arguing and Change Spouse's Behavior? Start With Mirror
Week of Jan 07, 2014
Article by Elizabeth Bernstein (Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2014)
Why Rate Your Marriage? A Numerical Score Can Help Couples Talk About Problems
Week of Dec 18, 2013
Therapists Say They Learn a Lot When Couples Commit to Numbers in Areas Like Trust, Teamwork, Physical Intimacy
Five Predictors of Relationship Success
Week of Nov 14, 2013
(and Five Not So Good Predictors)
- Commitment, or one’s long-term orientation and attachment to one’s partner is a very good predictor. It’s not surprising that those intending to stay in their relationships are less likely to break up.
- Positive illusions – We’ve written about it before, but viewing your relationship as better than it really is can be beneficial for its success.
- IOS – The “Inclusion of Other in the Self” Scale, developed by Dr. Art Aron and colleagues,4 is a really ingenious way of assessing relationship closeness using a series of overlapping circles (i.e., Venn diagrams).
- Love is especially interesting because of the diversity in how love is defined across different studies. It’s conceptualized and measured in many different ways, but what the various definitions of love have in common is their utility in predicting relationship stability.
- Network support – Although this technically wasn’t in the Top 5, I want to highlight it because it was a surprisingly good predictor of break-up. Having friends and family approve of and support relationships is associated with their long-term success. As a social psychologist, I shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that external influences are important in relationships, but I admittedly didn’t anticipate the strength of this finding. More
Online Dating & Relationships
Week of Oct 24, 2013
Pew Internet & Life Project report
Researcher finds correlation between financial arguments, decreased relationship satisfaction
Week of Oct 16, 2013
Study published in Family Relations, Vol 61, Issue 4
"Arguments about money is by far the top predictor of divorce," said Sonya Britt, assistant professor of family studies and human services and program director of personal financial planning. "It's not children, sex, in-laws or anything else. It's money -- for both men and women." Read more.
This study using longitudinal data from more than 4,500 couples as part of the National Survey of Families and Households is published in Family Relations Volumne 61, Issue 4.
The Key to Happy Relationships? It’s Not All About Communication
Week of Sep 23, 2013
An Internet-based study involving 2,201 participants
In an Internet-based study involving 2,201 participants referred by couples counsellors, scientists decided to test, head to head, seven “relationship competencies” . In addition to communication and conflict resolution, the researchers tested for sex or romance, stress management, life skills, knowledge of partners and self-management to see which ones were the best predictors of relationship satisfaction. More
Sleepless nights can worsen lovers' fights
Week of Jul 15, 2013
UC Berkeley Study
Happily married means a healthier ever after
Week of Jul 08, 2013
Research out of Brigham Young Univeristy suggests happy marriages live less “in sickness” but enjoy more of life “in health.”
New Brigham Young University research finds that people in happy marriages live less “in sickness” but enjoy more of life “in health.” In a 20-year longitudinal study tracking health and marriage quality, BYU family life researcher Rick Miller found that as the quality of marriage holds up over the years, physical health holds up too. “There’s evidence from previous research that marital conflict leads to poor health,” Miller said. “But this study also shows happy marriages have a preventative component that keeps you in good health over the years.” Read more.
Age and Conflict
Week of Jul 02, 2013
Does age affect how married couples handle conflict?
Researchers at the Relationships, Emotion and Health Lab at San Fransico State University followed 127 middle-aged and older long-term married couples across 13 years, checking in to see how they communicated about conflicts from housework to finances.
The researchers found that while most aspects of demand-withdraw communication remained steady over time, both husbands and wives "increased their tendency to demonstrate avoidance during conflict," reports Sarah Holley director of the Lab. That is, when faced with an area of disagreement, both spouses were more likely to do things such as change the subject or divert attention from the conflict. Avoidance is generally thought to be damaging to relationships as it gets in the way of conflict resolution. For younger couples, who may be grappling with newer issues, this may be particularly true. But for older couples, who have had decades to voice their disagreements, avoidance may be a way to move the conversation away from "toxic" areas and toward more neutral or pleasant topics, the researchers suggest.
The Perils of Giving Advice
Week of Jun 25, 2013
Elizabeth Bernstein article on advice giving in marital relationships
Bernstein describes the results of a series of six studies that followed 100 couples for the first seven years of marriage. Researchers at the University of Iowa found that both husbands and wives feel lower marital satisfaction when they are given too much advice from a spouse, as opposed to too little. And—surprise!—unsolicited advice is the most damaging kind. Read more.
Follow this link for the abstract of the study published in the Journal of Family Psychology: Validity and utility of a multidimensional model of received support in intimate relationships.Barry, Robin A.; Bunde, Mali; Brock, Rebecca L.; Lawrence, Erika Journal of Family Psychology, Vol 23(1), Feb 2009, 48-57.
Meeting online leads to happier, more enduring marriages
Week of Jun 04, 2013
University of Chicago Study
More Young Couples Commit — To Homeownership Before Marriage
Week of Apr 26, 2013
Time Magazine | Business & Money By Brad Tuttle
First comes love, then comes … mortgage? A new study indicates that young couples in committed relationships have been far more likely than older generations to purchase homes before getting married.
Happily Married Couples Consider Themselves Healthier
Week of Mar 19, 2013
University of Missouri study
Research shows that married people have better mental and physical health than their unmarried peers and are less likely to develop chronic conditions than their widowed or divorced counterparts reports Science Daily. A University of Missouri expert says that people who have happy marriages are more likely to rate their health as better as they age; aging adults whose physical health is declining could especially benefit from improving their marriages.
When One Partner Is Overweight
Week of Jan 28, 2013
Resolving Conflict in the Relationship Takes Two
Mixed-weight couples, where one partner is overweight and the other one isn't, have more relationship conflict, including arguments and feelings of anger and resentfulness, than same-weight couples, according to a study by researchers at the University of Puget Sound, in Tacoma, Wash., and the University of Arizona, in Tucson, published last month in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Full text PDF available here.
Does wedded bliss have a limited shelf life?
Week of Dec 03, 2012
American and European researchers tracked 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over the course of 15 years.
The findings were clear: newlyweds enjoy a big happiness boost that lasts, on average, for just two years. Then the special joy wears off and they are back where they started, at least in terms of happiness. The findings, from a 2003 study, have been confirmed by several recent studies.
The realization that your marriage no longer supplies the charge it formerly did is then an invitation: eschew predictability in favor of discovery, novelty and opportunities for unpredictable pleasure. “A relationship,” Woody Allen proclaimed in his film “Annie Hall,” “is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” A marriage is likely to change shape multiple times over the course of its lifetime; it must be continually rebuilt if it is to thrive.
The good news is that taking the long view on marriage and putting in the hard work has calculable benefits. Research shows that marital happiness reaches one of its highest peaks during the period after offspring have moved out of the family home.
Read more at Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside's OpEd piece in the New York Times.
Do Men and Women Show Love Differently in Marriage?
Week of Aug 30, 2012
Findings indicate that men and women show their love in more nuanced ways than cultural stereotypes suggest.
In Western societies, women are considered more adept than men at expressing love in romantic relationships. Although scholars have argued that this view of love gives short shrift to men’s ways of showing love the widely embraced premise that men and women “love differently” has rarely been examined empirically. Using data collected at four time points over 13 years of marriage, the authors examined whether love is associated with different behaviors for husbands and wives. Multilevel analyses revealed that, counter to theoretical expectations, both genders were equally likely to show love through affection. But whereas wives expressed love by enacting fewer negative or antagonistic behaviors, husbands showed love by initiating sex, sharing leisure activities, and doing household work together with their wives. Overall, the findings indicate that men and women show their love in more nuanced ways than cultural stereotypes suggest (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin). Read More
Most US young adults expect marriage to last a lifetime
Week of Aug 23, 2012
In an age of short-lived celebrity marriages, widespread divorce, babies being born outside of marriage, and the ever-popular “hooking up,” young people are remarkably traditional about their expectations for love, marriage and children—for both themselves and society at large, according to a new Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults.
The poll, directed by Clark psychology professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, reports that 86 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed nationwide expect to have a marriage that will last a lifetime. Read More.
Should you share a bed?
Week of Aug 16, 2012
Couples who sleep apart are healthier, have happier marriages and strong sex lives says a well-regarded sleep researcher at the University of Surrey.
Couples who sleep apart are healthier, have happier marriages and strong sex lives says a well-regarded sleep researcher at the University of Surrey. Read more.
The Financial Trifecta
Week of Aug 10, 2012
The Financial Trifecta
Charlie Michaels and Mike Brown, authors of "Mastering Marriage," suggest that couples need to agree on the following three issues: 1) spending philosophy-what merits a credit card or is "cash only;" 2) Long term financial goals-spouses need to be on the same page about where their financial future is headed; and 3) spending priorities-determining what comes first. Couples who can come to a consensus on these three issues are well on their way. Read More.