Maybe you didn’t realise until recently that your partner’s obsessed with earning money and you’re not; or maybe the magic of that first year after the wedding is starting to wear off, laying bare a less exhilarating existence.
Whatever it is, you’re hoping that if you ignore it, it’ll go away.
Spend time with them in addition to spending time with your partner and you’ll likely feel more satisfied with your life. Researchers recently looked at nearly 400 dating couples and used their feedback about their relationships to identify four patterns of commitment in a 2016 paper published in the: dramatic, conflict-ridden, socially involved and partner-focused.
Yes, the bad times are bad – but the good times are so good! As psychologist and relationships expert Gary Lewandowski explains on Science of Relationships, dramatic couples showed a lot of fluctuation in their commitment to their partners over time.
According to Eli Finkel, a psychologist at Northwestern University and a professor at the Kellogg School of Management, many modern couples place too high expectations on their marriages.
We expect our partner to be our lover, our soul mate, our best friend, our therapist, our intellectual sparring partner – and more.
For example, you might rate your partner as more attractive, kinder and smarter than they would rate themselves.
On the other hand, if you still see your partner as meh in the looks, intelligence and kindness departments – and as totally different from your ideal mate – that’s probably not a good sign.
Give yourself the chance to think about your partner when you two are apart.
The lead study author, Paul Schrodt at Texas Christian University, says it’s a hard pattern to break because each partner thinks the other is the cause of the problem.
It requires seeing how your individual behaviours are contributing to the issue and using different, more respectful conflict-management strategies. In 2007, researchers randomly dialled nearly 300 married people and asked them a series of questions about their relationships and how in love they felt.
Mr Huston and his team conducted multiple interviews with the couples throughout the study.
Here’s one fascinating finding, from the resulting paper that was published in the journal in 2001: “As newlyweds, the couples who divorced after seven or more years were almost giddily affectionate, displaying about one third more affection than did spouses who were later happily married.” Aviva Patz summed it up in : “Couples whose marriages begin in romantic bliss are particularly divorce-prone because such intensity is too hard to maintain.
And, realistically, we’re bound to be disappointed.