Research consistently shows that getting married, leads to declines in relational satisfaction. Getting married is novel and exciting. But, after the novelty fades, being in a long-term relationship entails a lot of work.
Conflict, especially arguments that leads to negative feelings, is one of the main reasons couples are less happy over time.
However, new research reveals a simple intervention that can help couples maintain high levels of satisfaction. This intervention simply involves thinking about or reappraising conflict differently.
Rather than personalize conflict in a relationship – it is you versus me – individuals who try to reflect on conflict from a third party perspective – take an outsider’s perspective – tend to depersonalize the conflict and deal with it more effectively.
Taking a third party approach to conflict also helps individuals maintain high levels of relational satisfaction.
The next time you get into an argument with your spouse, try to take yourself outside of the equation and see it from an outsider’s point of view.