Couples Who Argue Are Likely To Live Longer
A new study has found that bottling up your anger could lead to an early death.
The research carried out by psychologists at The University of Arizona, tracked 192 married couples over the course of 32 years.
The premise of the study was to see if a couple's style of arguing had any impact on either partner's lifespan.
Spoiler alert: It did.
The study found that the greater mismatch in arguing styles between partners led an increased risk of an early death.
So, if one of you likes to vent but the other likes to bottle it up -- you might need to rethink how you sort out your issues.
Kyle Bourassa, a psychologist from the University told The Mail: "The greater the mismatch between spouses' anger-coping response style, the greater the risk of early death."
He continued: "One may want more heated disagreements, whereas another partner might not, leaving both partners dissatisfied with how their conflicts are handled.
"This could result in more daily stress that would damage people’s health over the long-term. Couples whose interpersonal styles better match might have less conflict and maintain better health as a result."
That said, there are so-called 'healthy' ways for couples to argue according to Clinton Power, who is a relationship therapist at Clinton Power & Associates.
Power told 10 daily that a healthy argument is not to eliminate conflict altogether, "but to repair effectively after a conflict occurs".
People need to look at the way they're communicating," Powers told 10 daily.
"They can get into patterns where they're not really present or they're not facing each other or they're talking across a room and those types of communicating can lead to misunderstandings.
"One of the things I encourage couples to do if you have important information to relay, is get in close proximity to your partner, look them in the eye, don't have any distractions and pay attention as you're communicate. It can help get the message to sink in."
The good news is, Power says healthy fighting can be learnt by anyone. All you need to do is follow some simple rules (and ditch the five no-gos):
- Don’t use provocative language, like swearing or hurtful words, and don’t blame your partner.
- Don’t yell or use physical force, including breaking things or punching the wall.
- Don’t talk about separating or threaten to leave -- this is very scary for most people.
- Don’t bring up the past. Stick to the topic at hand and work on one issue at a time.
- Don’t engage in conflict when you’re tired, you’re driving, you’ve been drinking, in public or in front of the kids.
Instead, try to:
- Reframe and restate your partner’s statements so that everyone is clear on what is being communicated. Focus on understanding.
- Ask for specific things that will help you feel better.
- Respond to requests with good will. Take turns speaking. Validate what you hear.
- End the conflict when necessary and return to the issue later.
- Maintain respectful confidentiality.
- Be empathetic.
- Take responsibility for how you express yourself.
Feature Image: Universal Pictures