How to save a troubled marriage
It's often said that if one wants to keep the peace in their marriage, it's better to remain happy, than right. In other words keep mum.
However, researchers in New Zealand asked a husband to agree with everything the wife said, without her knowing of this beforehand and both had to score their daily quality of life on a scale of 1-10.
The experiment ended after 12 days when the wife became hostile at her husband for everything that he said or did, as the husband's quality of life score dove from 7 to 3, the Huffington Post reported.
Therapist Michele Weiner-Davis said that she sees couples teetering on the brink of divorce, in which the problem lied in one of them learned to stay quiet rather than disagree, which allowed the other to become a bully or control freak.
She claimed that by the time such a couple comes to her, the quiet one has been simmering with resentment for years and finally blows up over something insignificant, blindsiding the other spouse.
She added that the worst-case scenario is that the quiet one has found someone else and is ready to end the marriage.
The issue with the quiet one is harmful for that person individually as well, as a feeling of inauthenticity and anxiety become the norm, with the quiet partner feels "less than", decreasing his or her self-confidence.
For the spouse who's always right, bullying and hypercritical behavior become the norm and by giving that much "power," this partner can become more aggressive.
For both, intimacy, which is about being accepted for who you are, suffers.
Davis added that healthy relationships are a fine balancing act, where the goal is not to be right but for both spouses to feel heard and respected, adding that is the real key to happiness.
(Posted on 15-02-2014)