Just because you and your partner often bicker, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your marriage is headed towards doom and gloom. As a matter of fact, it might just be the opposite. That’s because there’s a new study that says married couples and partners who often fight end up staying together for the long run.
Sure, the honeymoon might feel like it’s over, but that might be a good thing. There’s a new study that says that as married couples age, they bicker less and laugh more as they age. So the key, ladies and gentlemen, is to get all of the fighting out of your systems in order to make room for some much-needed jokes later on.
According to Science Daily, researchers analyzed conversations between 87 middle-aged couples along with older husbands and wives who have been married from 15 to 35 years. They tracked their emotional interactions and found that as couples aged, they showed more humor and tenderness towards one another. In other words, there’s hope, dear friends.
The findings were published in the journal Emotion and showed that there was an increase in positive behavior the longer stayed together. The amount of humor and affection increased while negative behaviors such as defensiveness and criticism decreased.
"Our findings shed light on one of the great paradoxes of late life," said study senior author Robert Levenson, a UC Berkeley psychology professor. "Despite experiencing the loss of friends and family, older people in stable marriages are relatively happy and experience low rates of depression and anxiety. Marriage has been good for their mental health."
The study also found that wives were more emotionally expressive than their husbands which shouldn’t really surprise anyone. But here’s the interesting part: as the wives grew older, they became less affectionate and more domineering. But seeing how there are links between positive emotion and health, the study found that there is a huge importance of maintaining intimate relationships especially as we get older.
So as much as it is difficult to get past the good, the bag, and the ugly, there’s evidence that shows the more we age, the more focused we are on the positives in our lives. And believe it or not, that positive includes the person that you currently share your telephone bill with. As they say, you stick with each other through sickness and in health, and no matter how many times he leaves the wet towels on the bathroom floor.