Your marriage is going to get worse?
The longer couples are together, they more they find each other annoying and demanding, a study says. But their relationships with their kids and friends improve.
According to a recent study by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, views toward each other in a marriage only get more demanding and irritating as time goes on. This possibly stems from accumulated contact, and over time, frequent demands or nitpicking that resulted in a minor tiffs now create major dismay.
If your spouse already bugs you now, then the future is bleak. As per some new research, couples see one another as even more irritating and demanding the longer they are together.
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"As we age and become closer and more comfortable with one another, it could be that we're more able to express ourselves to each other," said lead study author Kira Birditt. "In other words, it's possible that negativity is a normal aspect of close relationships that include a great deal of daily contact."
However, as marriages hit rock bottom, other relationships – with friends and children - improved, since with friends, we have the ability to discard the ones that irritate us - reducing overall negativity.
Among the participants, those with the worst relationships overall were in their 20s or 30s.
"Older adults are more likely than younger people to report that they try to deal with conflict by avoiding confrontations, rather than by discussing problems," Birditt said.
This increased negativity could be a normal part of relationships.
"Because we found that pattern was overall among the participants, it appears to be normative. It's not something unusual that happens," Birditt said.
Each participant rated how strongly they agreed or disagreed with these two statements: • "My (spouse/partner, child, friend) gets on my nerves." • "My (spouse/partner, child, friend) makes too many demands on me."
In all age groups, the participants reported viewing their spouse as the most negative compared with children and friends and this negativity seemed to increase over time. Much as gerontological research suggests that as people age they get better at regulating their emotions and experience less negative relationships, the study found that it depends on the relationship in question.
In general, the longer spouses stay together, the more they have to deal with the other's idiosyncrasies.
How has your relationship with your spouse changed over the years? How about with your children and friends?
Tags: marriage over time
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