The simple change YOU can make to your language for a happier marriage, revealed
- People who use ‘we-talk’ when describing experiences have happier marriages
- ‘We-talk’ involves using first-person plural pronouns like ‘we’ rather than ‘I’
It may sound deceptively simple, but a new study suggests that a basic change to your language can help to boost marriage satisfaction.
Researchers from the University of Quebec say that people who use ‘we-talk’ when describing experiences have happier marriages.
As the name suggests, ‘we-talk’ involves using first-person plural pronouns like ‘we’ and ‘us’ rather than ‘I’ and ‘me’.
‘The use of “we” by spouses may highlight a shared identity, or “we-ness,” rather than a separate or individualistic construal of the self within a romantic relationship,’ the researchers explained.
‘This “we-ness” may reflect partners’ mutual influence on one another as well as their sense of interconnection.’
It may sound deceivingly simple, but a new study suggests that a basic change to your language can help to boost marriage satisfaction
In the study, the team set out to assess the impact of ‘we-talk’ on married couples who face a common stressor – young children.
In their study, published in Personal Relationships, the researchers, led by Catherine Ouellet-Courtois, explained: ‘Raising preschool-aged children is associated with increased marital conflict and decreased marital satisfaction and therefore was considered as a potential stressor for both partners.’
The team enlisted 77 married couples with a child under the age of seven, who were asked to rate their marital satisfaction.
Each spouse was then asked to lead a seven-minute discussion about the most difficult aspects of raising young children, and how it impacted their relationship with their partner.
During the discussions, the researchers made note of any pronouns used, and whether they were plurals (we, our, us, ourselves) or singular (I, me, mine).
The results revealed that couples who used more ‘we-talk’ reported significantly higher marriage satisfaction.
‘These findings suggest that greater cognitive interdependence, as indicated by we-talk, may protect from declines in marital satisfaction over time,’ the team added.
The study comes shortly after research revealed that thinking about your ex can actually improve your current relationship.
Psychologists at the University of Kansas asked volunteers to reflect on nostalgic memories with a former partner.
The results revealed that couples who used more ‘we-talk’ reported significantly higher marriage satisfaction
Those who were able to do this showed an increase in satisfaction in their current relationship, and more motivation to stick with it.
The team also probed the reason for this, by asking the volunteers how much they feel they have grown since their former relationship.
Individuals who reported an increase in relationship satisfaction also felt they had grown since their past one.
The researchers think this is because this feeling increased their appreciation of their current partner.
WHEN YOU SHOULD BREAK UP WITH YOUR PARTNER
Kale Monk, assistant professor of human development and family science at University of Missouri says on-off relationships are associated with higher rates of abuse, poorer communication and lower levels of commitment.
People in these kinds of relationships should make informed decisions about either staying together once and for all or terminating their relationship.
Here are his top five tips to work out whether it’s the right time to end your relationship –
1. When considering rekindling a relationship that ended or avoiding future breakups, partners should think about the reasons they broke up to determine if there are consistent or persistent issues impacting the relationship.
2. Having explicit conversations about issues that have led to break ups can be helpful, especially if the issues will likely reoccur. If there was ever violence in the relationship, however, or if having a conversation about relationship issues can lead to safety concerns, consider seeking support-services when it is safe to do so.
3. Similar to thinking about the reasons the relationship ended, spend time thinking about the reasons why reconciliation might be an option. Is the reason rooted in commitment and positive feelings, or more about obligations and convenience? The latter reasons are more likely to lead down a path of continual distress.
4. Remember that it is okay to end a toxic relationship. For example, if your relationship is beyond repair, do not feel guilty leaving for your mental or physical well-being.
5. Couples therapy or relationship counselling is not just for partners on the brink of divorce. Even happy dating and married couples can benefit from ‘relationship check-ups’ in order to strengthen the connection between partners and have additional support in approaching relationship transitions.
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