Tag Archives: couples

The Cohabitation Effect

Couples living together out of convenience–“sliding, not deciding”–gets roughed up in the NYT by psychologist Meg Jay, author of The Defining Decade:

Sliding into cohabitation wouldn’t be a problem if sliding out were as easy. But it isn’t. Too often, young adults enter into what they imagine will be low-cost, low-risk living situations only to find themselves unable to get out months, even years, later. It’s like signing up for a credit card with 0 percent interest. At the end of 12 months when the interest goes up to 23 percent you feel stuck because your balance is too high to pay off. In fact, cohabitation can be exactly like that. In behavioral economics, it’s called consumer lock-in.

Relationship Health

Extra motivation for figuring out how to get along better?:   The way you relate to your partner can affect your long-term mental and physical health, study shows (Science Daily).

“We already know from prior research that people in stable, happy marriages experience better overall health than do those in more conflicted relationships,” said Professor Hicks. “We can now further conclude from our current research that individuals who are in insecure relationships are more vulnerable to longer-term health risks from conflict than are others.”

Couples Communication

Study:  Couples May Not Communicate Better Than Strangers (PsychCentral):

“Although speakers expected their spouse to understand them better than strangers, accuracy rates for spouses and strangers were statistically identical. This result is striking because speakers were more confident that they were understood by their spouse” […]

“A wife who says to her husband, ‘it’s getting hot in here,’ as a hint for her husband to turn up the air conditioning a notch, may be surprised when he interprets her statement as a coy, amorous advance instead,” said Savitsky, who is lead author of the paper, published in the January issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

 

 

Love v. Pain

Study:  Love decreases pain.  Commenters: Unimpressed.

Researchers from Stanford University studied the link between love and pain by scanning the brains of 15 college students who all professed to being deeply in love. The eight women and seven men were placed in brain scanners that tracked their body’s response to pain — in this case a heated probe placed on the palm of the hand.

Couples Therapy

About.com helpfully rounds up the wisdom about couples therapy in Does Couples Counseling Work? and Benefits of Marriage Counseling.

There are people who stay in an unhappy marriage until the resentment builds and they feel they have no choice but to divorce. They don’t voice their unhappiness, they go with the flow hoping something will change and the problems will be instantly solved. Then there are those who “try” with everything they have to make the marriage work before they leave. These people are problem solvers who feel they owe it to the marriage to try to find solutions to the problems before they throw in the towel.

The one thing both have in common is that they rarely go to marriage counseling.

Looking for couples therapy in L.A.?  Call or write to discuss what you’re going through and arrange an appointment:  (323) 610-0112.

The Apology Gap

Scientific American relays research that finds a reason that may explain why Women Apologize More Frequently Than Men:

Researchers analyzed the number of self-reported offences and apologies made by 66 subjects over a 12-day period. And yes, they confirmed women consistently apologized more times than men did. But they also found that women report more offenses than men. So the issue is not female over-apology. Instead, there may be a gender difference in what is considered offensive in the first place.

Thousands of Years of Monogamy

There’ve been only thousands years of monogamy, that is–since agriculture got underway–according to the newish book, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. When people started farming, say the authors, they started thinking about things like ownership and where babies come from.  Monogamy followed–meaning that lifelong pairing doesn’t necessarily come naturally to us.

Here’s Dan Savage getting very excited about the thesis as he interviews author Christopher Ryan on his podcast [with the usual explicit language].  Not for everyone, but…if it’s for you, there’s more where that came from on Ryan’s Psychology Today blog .

Modern Love

 

Diane Johnson looks dating and marriage in a NYRB review.

It used to be that on a date, the boy would pay for a Pepsi and the movie; that was it. Lori Gottlieb, in Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, estimates the cost to today’s woman of four months of dating, counting therapy afterward when it doesn’t work out, to be $3,600: online dating service, clothes, including expensive underwear, haircut, hair color, cosmetics, bikini wax, entertaining him, and gifts. Things have changed.