He said that, “No problem is too small to acknowledge in a relationship.” Michigan relationship expert Terri Orbuch, Ph.D, agreed, and said, “sweat the small stuff. This quiz is designed to identify your bedrock emotional needs, even those tucked away in your subconscious. Quiz created by Terri L. Orbuch, PhD. In book: Handbook of Relationship Beginnings, Edition: 1st, Chapter: “So how did of the relationship (Alea & Vick, ; Custer, Holmberg, Blair, & Orbuch, ). . Furthermore, the model was tested on participants in both same-sex (i.e.
Expect less and get more from your partner. Many people assume that conflict is kryptonite to relationships.
How Conflict Can Improve Your Relationship
Happy couples have realistic expectations, both about relationships in general and about their relationship in particular.
For instance, in her book, Orbuch busts 10 common couples myths. Have you and your partner separately write your top two expectations for your relationship i. Give incentives and rewards.
How Conflict Can Improve Your Relationship
Couples show affective affirmation through words and actions. An affirmation a day can keep a couple happy.
- Implications of Conflict Behaviors for Divorce
Orbuch suggests either saying something affirming to your partner or doing something affirming for them once a day. Have daily briefings for improved communication.
Most couples will say that they communicate. Practice the minute rule. The key is to get to know your partner. In particular, consistent gender differences have been found that have implications for how the balance of work in the relationship is likely to be perceived.
Conversely, women are more likely to engage in indirect strategies of relationship initiation e. Although gender differences have been found in specific behaviors involved in initiating and maintaining relationships, a very different research question is whether it is the male partner or the female partner who is more likely to be identified as working harder at the initiation and maintenance of relationships, when the assessments are made holistically.
Using a methodology similar to that used in the present study, Guynn, Brooks, and Sprecher asked a sample of college students involved in romantic relationships and a separate sample of 75 male-female dating couples to report who did the work of the initiation of their relationship. Among the findings were that perceived imbalance with respect to the work of relationship initiation was common, that women were more likely than men to perceive their partners as having done more work than they did themselves, and that overall there were no gender differences in perceptions of who did more work.
This prior investigation, however, did not also explore perceptions of the work of the current, maintenance stage of the relationship. Therefore, an interesting empirical question is: We hypothesize that male partners will be more likely than female partners to be perceived as doing the work of relationship initiation H3but that female partners will be more likely than male partners to be perceived as doing the work of relationship maintenance H4.
Satisfaction, Commitment and Perceived Im Balance [ TOP ] The third issue we examine is how the perceived balance of the work of relationship initiation and maintenance is associated with relationship satisfaction and commitment. Our correlational study cannot address causality, but we speculate that satisfaction and commitment can be both a consequence of perceiving balance in the relationship and can contribute to the perception of balanced work. In both cases, we would expect positive associations.
For example, equity theory e. According to this perspective, partners are most likely to experience positive interpersonal outcomes e. An alternative causal direction is also possible e. Irrespective of the nature of the causal connection between perceptions of the balance of relationship work and relationship outcomes, we predict that partners who perceive balance in the work of their relationship will report higher levels of satisfaction and commitment than partners who perceive imbalance H5.
There are theoretical reasons to predict a positive association between either type of imbalance and relationship outcomes. For example, partners who believe that they did more of the work of relationship initiation may come to feel especially committed to their relationship, as would be predicted by a cognitive dissonance framework on justifying effort e. Similarly, people who conclude that they are doing more work currently to maintain their relationship may, through the lens of self-perception processes Bem,infer an internal state of high satisfaction and commitment in their relationship based on the self-observation of their hard work a behavior.
An equity theory perspective e. Past research has shown that being the advantaged partner in the relationship i.
Marital Conflict Behaviors and Implications for Divorce over 16 Years
Work on your listening skills. Communication is key to resolving conflict. The bedrock of good communication? Fully listening to your partner without building a case in your head of how your partner is wrong, said Batshaw, also author of the forthcoming Things You Need to Know Before Getting Married: The Essential Guide to a Successful Marriage.
Couples who are stuck in conflict are unable to empathize with their partner, he said.
5 Steps to a Successful Marriage
For tips, see our article on active listening and effective speaking. Participate in shared problem solving. Consider the concerns behind your perspective.
Heitler helps her clients lay out their concerns, so they can then brainstorm solutions together, instead of each partner arguing his or her point. For instance, one couple kept fighting about parking: