5 Things Relationship Experts Know About Love That You Don’t

This piece by Emma Haak was sent to me by colleagues who work from an Imago perspective, which is an approach to couples work that I highly respect.  So many thanks to my friendly Imago therapists who shared this with me:

Patty Mangini, PhD,
Michael Scott, MFT
Maria Monroe, MFT

Researchers have looked at everything from what you’re actually doing when you think you’re helping your partner to the truth about the way you handle disagreements.

By Emma Haak

1.  The Most Successful Marriages Start at This Age, And It’s Not What You Think

The older you are when you tie the knot, the more solid the marriage will be, right? Not exactly true. The sweet spot for the start of a lasting union: 32 years old. The risk of divorce declines steadily with age throughout your 20s, but after 32, it rises by about 5 percent per year. That’s the surprising discovery that Nicholas Wolfinger, PhD, a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah, made last summer after analyzing marriage and divorce data from more than 6,000 Americans collected between 2006 and 2010. “It used to be a simple, linear relationship,” he says. “The older you were when you married, the less likely you were to get divorced.” Wolfinger isn’t sure what’s causing the change, but he does note that people are waiting longer than they used to, which may be a factor.

2. Not All Support Is Beneficial

When your significant other is stressed but hasn’t asked for help, helping in an obvious way is like asking someone if they want a cup of coffee because they look tired. “Suddenly your partner thinks, ‘I must be struggling so badly that you had to do something.’ That can make them feel like they’re failing, and that can affect how happy you both are in the relationship,” says Matthew Johnson, PhD, a professor of psychology at Binghamton University and author of the new book Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex, and Marriage. He points to the study that first brought this effect to experts’ attention. Researchers followed New York City couples in which one partner was studying for the bar exam. They kept individual daily diaries of what they were doing for the other, what their partner was doing for them and how happy they were in the relationship. Surprisingly, couples where the non-studying partner reported giving the other a lot of help, but the one cramming for the exam said they didn’t receive much support, were happier than couples where the non-studier offered a lot of support and the test-taker noticed. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be there for your partner when they’re overwhelmed. Just practice what the authors of the study call “invisible support”: helping in ways that make their life a little easier without drawing attention to it, like taking care of a chore that neither one of you relishes without pointing out that you did it. (And putting some faith in the fact that they’ll reciprocate.)

3. How Often You Have Sex May Matter More Than You’ve Been Told

Ask a couples therapist how often you and your partner should be getting busy and they’ll likely tell you as often as makes you happy. We don’t disagree, but in the spirit of interesting scientific findings, here’s this: The more frequently partners had sex, the more positive their implicit, or gut-level, feelings about the relationship were, according to a new study in Psychological Science. To put “implicit feelings” into real-world terms, it’s the difference between automatically smiling when you see your partner walk through the door after work and smiling after you remind yourself that they offered to make dinner tonight. The first one happens without you even realizing it; the second requires some effort. That’s the crucial difference, says Lindsey Hicks lead author of the study and a doctoral student in social psychology at Florida State University. “When you’re tired and don’t have the energy to think about how you feel about your partner, the implicit attitude you have toward them is the one that will come out and influence the way you treat them,” she says. This is an early study, and the researchers aren’t suggesting that we should all stop everything and have sex as often as possible, but more positive implicit feelings are just another good reason to spend more time in the bedroom.

4. Your Conflict Style Predicts Your Health Issues

It doesn’t take an expert to guess that people who tend to get angry during spats with their partner are more likely to have heart-related issues later on. Stonewallers (the “I don’t want to talk about this right now” type) are also at increased risk-this time, for musculoskeletal problems like back pain. In a 20-year study just published in Emotion, researchers followed 156 couples (half in their 40s, the other half in their 60s, all married for at least 15 years) by bringing them into the lab every five years and asking about their health, and videotaping them as they talked about a current conflict in the relationship. After analyzing the tapes for signs of anger and stonewalling, the researchers discovered the heart and musculoskeletal connections. “When people stonewall, they’re usually feeling something inside but they don’t want to let it show, and they tend to get physically tense and stiff,” says Robert Levenson, PhD, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and one of the authors of the study. “It’s like there’s a car that’s pulling out of the garage and you’re standing in front of it trying to hold it back, only the car is your emotions.” The other important takeaway: Whatever disagreements you two have, try to resolve them sooner rather than later so they don’t wear on your mind and body for decades. A lot of the couples in this study had the same conflict year in and year out, and they usually discussed it in eerily similar terms. Says Levenson, “Sometimes we’d be listening in and wondering, ‘Is this the same conversation they had five years ago?'”

5. You and Your Partner Are More Alike Than You Realize

We know from research that, in fact, opposites don’t really attract. You just think they do because, “it’s the dissimilarities that jump out at you,” says Chris Crandall, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Kansas. “For example, you both hate martial arts movies, but that never comes up, so the fact that you both dislike them is completely unremarkable to you.” When you focus on X, Y and Z ways you’re different, you miss areas A through W that you’re alike, and trying to make those tiny, likely insignificant differences disappear is a waste of time and effort. When researchers interviewed more than 4,000 people (including romantic partners and friends) to see if, over time, their pre-existing opinions led to some kind of change in the other person, “the answer was a resounding no,” says Crandall, lead author of the recent study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. So maybe it’s time to accept the fact that he’ll only read non-fiction or even disagrees with your political beliefs and focus on the million other ways that you are in sync.

382 thoughts on “5 Things Relationship Experts Know About Love That You Don’t”

  1. Pingback: viagra visa

  2. Pingback: cialis price

  3. Pingback: cialis cost

  4. Pingback: cialis 20mg

  5. Pingback: Overnight canadian viagra

  6. Pingback: Buy pfizer viagra online

  7. Pingback: cialis online

  8. Pingback: levitra vs cialis

  9. Pingback: cost of cialis

  10. Pingback: cialis 5mg price

  11. Pingback: buy cialis online safely

  12. Pingback: online pharmacy viagra

  13. Pingback: viagra generic

  14. Pingback: viagra 50mg

  15. Pingback: best otc ed pills

  16. Pingback: ed meds online without doctor prescription

  17. Pingback: cheapest ed pills online

  18. Pingback: canada online pharmacy

  19. Pingback: Buy cheap cialis

  20. Pingback: cheap vardenafil

  21. Pingback: generic vardenafil online

  22. Pingback: vardenafil 10 mg

  23. Pingback: casino moons online casino

  24. Pingback: hard rock casino online

  25. Pingback: viagra viagra

  26. Pingback: best real casino online

  27. Pingback: casinos

  28. Pingback: loans for bad credit

  29. Pingback: personal loan

  30. Pingback: online roulette gambling

  31. Pingback: personal loans

  32. Pingback: viagra 100mg

  33. Pingback: casino games online

  34. Pingback: generic cialis

  35. Pingback: top casino on the internet uk

  36. Pingback: online gambling

  37. Pingback: 5 mg cialis

  38. Pingback: new cialis

  39. Pingback: cialis 5 mg

  40. Pingback: cialis 5 mg

  41. Pingback: best online casino usa

  42. Pingback: jackpot party casino

  43. Pingback: chumba casino

  44. Pingback: slot machine games

  45. Pingback: generic for viagra

  46. Pingback: viagra online canada

  47. Pingback: generic for viagra

  48. Pingback: generic viagra reviews

  49. Pingback: viagra pills

  50. Pingback: when to buy viagra

  51. Pingback: cialis pills

  52. Pingback: viagra connect

  53. Pingback: where to buy viagra online

  54. Pingback: viagra generic

  55. Pingback: cheapest generic viagra

  56. Pingback: online casino games

  57. Pingback: where to buy viagra in atlanta ga cheap

  58. Pingback: buy viagra online

  59. Pingback: how can i buy viagra

  60. Pingback: Viagra 130mg pills

  61. Pingback: Viagra 130mg usa

  62. Pingback: Viagra 25mg otc

  63. Pingback: cheap sildenafil

  64. Pingback: Viagra 200mg for sale

  65. Pingback: cialis pills online india

  66. Pingback: where can i buy Viagra 130 mg

  67. Pingback: Viagra 200mg without a doctor prescription

  68. Pingback: viagra without doctor prescription

  69. Pingback: Viagra 25 mg purchase

  70. Pingback: cialis generic

  71. Pingback: Viagra 100 mg australia

  72. Pingback: Cialis 20mg over the counter

  73. Pingback: where to buy Cialis 40mg

  74. Pingback: where can i buy Cialis 10 mg

  75. Pingback: viagra price

  76. Pingback: Cialis 60 mg without prescription

  77. Pingback: buy cialis

  78. Pingback: Cialis 10 mg online pharmacy

  79. Pingback: buy generic viagra

  80. Pingback: viagra for sale

  81. Pingback: Cialis 60 mg australia

  82. Pingback: buy Cialis 80 mg

  83. Pingback: viagra online for sale

  84. Pingback: cost of Cialis 40 mg

  85. Pingback: where can i buy Cialis 40 mg

  86. Pingback: sildenafil 100mg nz

  87. Pingback: tadalafil 10mg cost

  88. Pingback: viagra cheap

  89. Pingback: cheapest levitra 40 mg

  90. Pingback: canadian rx pharmacy

  91. Pingback: cheap lasix 40 mg

  92. Pingback: where to buy furosemide 40 mg

  93. Pingback: propecia 5mg medication

  94. Pingback: lexapro 20mg online

  95. Pingback: viagra cheap

  96. Pingback: best canadian pharmacy

  97. Pingback: generic viagra names

  98. Pingback: abilify 10mg online pharmacy

  99. Pingback: actos 30mg uk

  100. Pingback: how to buy aldactone 25mg

  101. Pingback: viagra achat en france

  102. Pingback: allegra 120mg tablet

  103. Pingback: how to buy allopurinol 300 mg

  104. Pingback: buy amaryl 2mg

  105. Pingback: amoxicillin 250mg prices

  106. Pingback: cialis 20mg

  107. Pingback: buy ampicillin 500 mg

  108. Pingback: antabuse 500mg online

  109. Pingback: antivert 25 mg generic

  110. Pingback: strattera 18 mg cheap

  111. Pingback: aricept 5 mg uk

  112. Pingback: viagra last longer

  113. Pingback: arimidex 1mg canada

  114. Pingback: tamoxifen 20 mg no prescription

  115. Pingback: ashwagandha 60caps cost

  116. Pingback: cialis 20 mg how long does it last

  117. Pingback: atarax 25mg usa

  118. Pingback: augmentin 250/125mg over the counter

  119. Pingback: avapro 300mg united states

  120. Pingback: avodart 0,5mg prices

  121. Pingback: herb viagra

  122. Pingback: baclofen 25 mg coupon

  123. Pingback: bactrim 800/160 mg purchase

  124. Pingback: natural viagra substitute

  125. Pingback: benicar 20mg online pharmacy

  126. Pingback: cialis 200mg

  127. Pingback: Biaxin 250 mg otc

  128. Pingback: order Premarin 0,625mg

  129. Pingback: canadian pharmacy viagra

  130. Pingback: cost of buspar 10mg

  131. Pingback: generic cialis india

  132. Pingback: sildenafil citrate 20 mg

  133. Pingback: viagra hq toronto

  134. Pingback: sildenafil citrate generic viagra 100mg

  135. Pingback: generic cialis for sale

  136. Pingback: catapres 100 mcg online

  137. Pingback: ceclor usa

  138. Pingback: ceftin 500 mg cheap

  139. Pingback: celebrex 100 mg tablet

  140. Pingback: celexa for sale

  141. Pingback: how to purchase cephalexin 500 mg

  142. Pingback: erection pills that work

  143. Pingback: tadalafil citrate

  144. Pingback: cipro generic

  145. Pingback: cheapest claritin

  146. Pingback: online casino usa

  147. Pingback: cheap ed pills

  148. Pingback: online casinos usa

  149. Pingback: gambling games

  150. Pingback: chumba casino

  151. Pingback: best casino games

  152. Pingback: slot machine

  153. Pingback: casino online gambling

  154. Pingback: online casino games real money

  155. Pingback: free slots

  156. Pingback: ed treatment pills

  157. Pingback: best casino online

  158. Pingback: insurance quotes car

  159. Pingback: online car insurance quotes instant

  160. Pingback: automobile insurance quotes florida

  161. Pingback: viagra online no prior prescription

  162. Pingback: allstate car insurance quotes

  163. Pingback: cheapest online car insurance quotes

  164. Pingback: generic cialis

  165. Pingback: car insurance usaa

  166. Pingback: motorcycle insurance

  167. Pingback: generic cialis

  168. Pingback: car insurance quotes comparison rates

  169. Pingback: triple a car insurance

  170. Pingback: cialis

  171. Pingback: car insurance quotes companies in texas

  172. Pingback: anti boner

  173. Pingback: payday loans near me

  174. Pingback: payday loans raleigh nc

  175. Pingback: generic cialis

  176. Pingback: quick installment loans no credit check

  177. Pingback: quick loans near me

  178. Pingback: where can i buy viagra online safely

  179. Pingback: bad credit loans bad credit loans

  180. Pingback: payday loans fast

  181. Pingback: usa personal loans

  182. Pingback: amoxicillin 500mg tablets price in india

  183. Pingback: cbd oil and blood pressure

  184. Pingback: cbd oil for cancer

  185. Pingback: buy cialis usa

  186. Pingback: order sildenafil tablets

  187. Pingback: cbd oil and anxiety

  188. Pingback: best cbd oil for pain reviews

  189. Pingback: sildenafil online buy india

  190. Pingback: online viagra sales

  191. Pingback: bill gates cbd oil

  192. Pingback: medterra cbd oil website

  193. Pingback: order female viagra

  194. Pingback: buy levitra 10 mg

  195. Pingback: cbd oil for arthritis pain relief

  196. Pingback: cost of sildenafil 30 tablets

  197. Pingback: cbd oil for sale vape

  198. Pingback: instant online payday loans

  199. Pingback: Pharmacy viagra

  200. Pingback: best rated cbd hemp oil for pain

  201. Pingback: viagra online uk

  202. Pingback: algebra homework answers

  203. Pingback: viagra similar products

  204. Pingback: best online essay writing service

  205. Pingback: how to write an essays

  206. Pingback: website dieses benutzers besuchen

  207. Pingback: best online essay writing service

  208. Pingback: a manual for writers of term papers

  209. Pingback: reviews for essay writing services

  210. Pingback: sildenafil generic nz

  211. Pingback: write essay for me

  212. Pingback: buying essays online safe

  213. Pingback: google essay writer

  214. Pingback: where to buy cleocin 300 mg

  215. Pingback: clomid online

  216. Pingback: female viagra over the counter

  217. Pingback: cialis euros

  218. Pingback: clonidine 0,1mg for sale

  219. Pingback: Generic viagra in canada

  220. Pingback: cheap clozaril

  221. Pingback: colchicine 0,5mg prices

  222. Pingback: symbicort inhaler 160/4,5mcg medication

  223. Pingback: buy cialis mexico

  224. Pingback: where to buy combivent 50/20 mcg

  225. Pingback: pfizer viagra tablets

  226. Pingback: essay help online chat

  227. Pingback: buy coreg 12,5 mg

  228. Pingback: Canadian pharmacy viagra legal

  229. Pingback: cialis et libido

  230. Pingback: generic cialis

  231. Pingback: compazine purchase

  232. Pingback: coumadin 2mg over the counter

  233. Pingback: buy cozaar 50mg

  234. Pingback: college essay editing service

  235. Pingback: thesis online

  236. Pingback: walmart viagra

  237. Pingback: customessaywriterbyz.com

  238. Pingback: how to buy crestor

  239. Pingback: doctoral dissertation

  240. Pingback: help with writing college application essay

  241. Pingback: where to buy cymbalta 20mg

  242. Pingback: viagra mejor cialis

  243. Pingback: write my paper one day

  244. Pingback: best research paper writing service

  245. Pingback: otc viagra

  246. Pingback: thesis support

  247. Pingback: dapsone caps no prescription

  248. Pingback: ddavp 0.1 mg no prescription

  249. Pingback: depakote 500mg nz

  250. Pingback: diamox 250 mg pills

  251. Pingback: differin for sale

  252. Pingback: Viagra next day delivery

  253. Pingback: diltiazem 60 mg pills

  254. Pingback: doxycycline no prescription

  255. Pingback: dramamine 50 mg united kingdom

  256. Pingback: best canadian pharmacy

  257. Pingback: elavil 10mg without prescription

  258. Pingback: erythromycin 250mg nz

  259. Pingback: etodolac price

  260. Pingback: buy Zithromax

  261. Pingback: flomax no prescription

  262. Pingback: flonase nasal spray cheap

  263. Pingback: personal essay help

  264. Pingback: buy garcinia cambogia caps

  265. Pingback: ordering cialis in canada

  266. Pingback: pet meds without vet prescription canada

  267. Pingback: geodon 80mg united states

  268. Pingback: hyzaar tablet

  269. Pingback: imdur 30mg australia

  270. Pingback: cialis generic name

  271. Pingback: cialis reviews

  272. Pingback: imitrex prices

  273. Pingback: cialis pill

  274. Pingback: imodium 2mg online

  275. Pingback: viagra over the counter

  276. Pingback: generic viagra india

  277. Pingback: discount viagra

  278. Pingback: look these up

  279. Pingback: is viagra over the counter

  280. Pingback: how long does it take for viagra to work

  281. Pingback: generic cialis canada pharmacy

  282. Pingback: imuran cheap

  283. Pingback: indocin tablet

  284. Pingback: zithromax 500mg price in india

  285. Pingback: cost of lamisil 250 mg

  286. Pingback: levaquin cheap

  287. Pingback: cheap generic viagra

  288. Pingback: lopid 300mg uk

  289. Pingback: lopressor pharmacy

  290. Pingback: luvox 50 mg without a prescription

  291. Pingback: buy generic viagra

  292. Pingback: macrobid 50mg price

  293. Pingback: cheapest meclizine

  294. Pingback: best online pharmacy viagra

  295. Pingback: canadian pharmacy

  296. Pingback: best erectile dysfunction medication

  297. Pingback: mestinon 60mg price

  298. Pingback: Viagra with Dapoxetine

  299. Pingback: canada online pharmacy

  300. Pingback: buy Plaquenil

  301. Pingback: canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg

  302. Pingback: mobic purchase

  303. Pingback: drugstore online

  304. Pingback: motrin price

  305. Pingback: nortriptyline tablets

  306. Pingback: fda approved canadian online pharmacies

  307. Pingback: viagra for young men

  308. Pingback: periactin 4mg without a doctor prescription

  309. Pingback: cheap phenergan 25mg

  310. Pingback: canada drugs online

  311. Pingback: plaquenil canada

  312. Pingback: prednisolone 5mg over the counter

  313. Pingback: where can i buy prevacid

  314. Pingback: prilosec 40mg price

  315. Pingback: proair inhaler 100mcg without a prescription

  316. Pingback: viagra

  317. Pingback: procardia 30mg cost

  318. Pingback: proscar coupon

  319. Pingback: protonix for sale

  320. Pingback: viagra

  321. Pingback: provigil without a doctor prescription

  322. Pingback: viagra 100mg price

  323. Pingback: how to purchase pulmicort

  324. Pingback: bactrim over the counter

  325. Pingback: pyridium united states

  326. Pingback: reglan united kingdom

  327. Pingback: benadryl cream cost

  328. Pingback: cost of remeron 15mg

  329. Pingback: retin-a cream 0.05% medication

  330. Pingback: revatio 20 mg uk

  331. Pingback: where can i get benadryl

  332. Pingback: risperdal tablets

  333. Pingback: robaxin without prescription

  334. Pingback: cheapest rogaine

  335. Pingback: how to buy seroquel 100mg

  336. Pingback: singulair 10mg for sale

  337. Pingback: skelaxin 400mg cost

  338. Pingback: spiriva australia

  339. Pingback: buy generic viagra

  340. Pingback: tenormin purchase

  341. Pingback: buy viagra online cheap

  342. Pingback: thorazine 100mg without a prescription

  343. Pingback: toprol 50mg pills

  344. Pingback: cheapest tricor

  345. Pingback: valtrex 1000 mg online pharmacy

  346. Pingback: verapamil 120mg online pharmacy

  347. Pingback: voltaren 100 mg united kingdom

  348. Pingback: wellbutrin 150 mg otc

  349. Pingback: zanaflex without a doctor prescription

  350. Pingback: what is the generic drug for cialis

  351. Pingback: read this

  352. Pingback: zocor online

  353. Pingback: zithromax online paypal

  354. Pingback: buy zovirax

  355. Pingback: zyloprim 300 mg united states

  356. Pingback: zyprexa 7,5mg united kingdom

  357. Pingback: viagra overseas

  358. Pingback: zyvox purchase

  359. Pingback: sildenafil tablet

  360. Pingback: tadalafil 60mg usa

  361. Pingback: buy furosemide 40 mg

  362. Pingback: escitalopram no prescription

  363. Pingback: amoxil pharmacy

  364. Pingback: aripiprazole online pharmacy

  365. Pingback: pioglitazone 30mg without a doctor prescription

  366. Pingback: cheap spironolactone 100mg

  367. Pingback: buy prescription drugs without doctor

  368. Pingback: fexofenadine canada

  369. Pingback: glimepiride 4 mg uk

  370. Pingback: meclizine tablets

  371. Pingback: leflunomide no prescription

  372. Pingback: where to buy atomoxetine

  373. Pingback: donepezil online pharmacy

  374. Pingback: anastrozole 1 mg no prescription

  375. Pingback: generic viagra

  376. Pingback: irbesartan nz

  377. Pingback: dutasteride generic

  378. Pingback: olmesartan 10mg medication

  379. Pingback: how to purchase buspirone 10mg

  380. Pingback: clonidine pharmacy

  381. Pingback: cefuroxime united states

  382. Pingback: order celecoxib 200 mg

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top