Entries in abusive relationship (9)


Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Why Good People Stay in Bad Relationships

It may be hard to believe, but I was once in a relationship for nine years where I was so unhappy, I cried nearly every day. A decade later, with a Ph.D. in Psychology under my belt and an intellectual obsession with how and why humans attach themselves to one another and form relationships, I am finally beginning to understand the mysterious crazy glue that keeps people in bad relationships. It often boils down to commitment level, attachment style, and a strange ability to distort the future. 

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Leaving an Abusive Relationship is Better than Expected

Research recently published by our friend and colleague Dr. Ximena Arriaga shows that people in abusive relationships underestimate the degree to which they will be better off after leaving those toxic relationships. Read more about her research here.

Check out our past article on this topic here.


A Cold Embrace: “Twilight” and Relationship Violence

In the past decade, the rise in popularity of vampire-themed books and movies for young adults has risen dramatically. While superficially vampires make for some good nail-biting fun in the Halloween season, they can send some unfortunate messages to the young people who love them. In this article, I argue that the popular Twilight series can be used to highlight patterns of behavior that put individuals at risk for abuse in dating relationships.

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What are We Fighting About?: The Top 15 Sources of Conflict in Relationships

Relationship conflict is inevitable. To identify the most common sources of conflict, over 100 participants listed the ways that men and women could upset, irritate, hurt, or anger each other. Researchers then analyzed subjects’ responses to identify the most central themes, or common topics, in the list. Based on this analysis, here are the top 15 behaviors that can upset a romantic partner, ranked in order by the frequency each behavior was listed (from the most to least mentioned):  

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Relationship Aggression is Not Forgivable

Forgiving partners when they make benign mistakes like forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning is good. Forgiving serious negative behaviors, such as relationship aggression, can have unfortunate consequences. In a recent study, newlyweds were tracked for four years. Men and women who were more forgiving, in general, experienced continued physical and psychological aggression across the course of their marriage whereas less forgiving partners experienced reduced aggression. Forgiveness may reinforce negative relationship behaviors like violence. 

McKnulty, J. K. (2011). The dark side of forgiveness: The tendency to forgive predicts continued psychological and physical aggression in marriage. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 770-783.


Relationships 101: Having Healthy Relationships in Your First Year of College 

For a .PDF version of this article, please click here. This article is free to any college/university for dissemination to students (e.g., as part of college orientation, first-year seminar, or college course).

College is all about new experiences: the start of a new life, new friends, new freedom, and new relationship experiences. Not surprisingly, romantic relationships are responsible for life’s happiest moments.1 For that reason, it is important to avoid problematic relationships that could jeopardize your college education. To help, we’ll identify qualities of healthy relationships in the context of common relationship experiences that students encounter during their first year in college.

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Why Do Victims Return to Abusive Relationships?

We like to write about “fun” studies here at S of R, but it’s important to tackle more serious issues from time to time. One of the more “darker” aspects of relationships is when they turn violent. Clearly, we’d like to enable the victims of abuse to break free from their relationships. Surprisingly, however, the abused often return to their violent partners. When they are on the verge of getting out, why do victims of violence return to abusive relationships?

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Ronnie & Sam on the Jersey Shore: Will They Ever Stop Fighting?  

Sammie came back to the house, swore that she and Ron were over, they got drunk and ended up back together…for about a day before they started fighting again. This may be the least surprising series of developments on Jersey Shore, well aside from Snooki getting arrested for public drunkenness. The roommates knew this was coming and that there was going to be a big fight. Paulie even remarked how he was going to get some popcorn, sit on the couch and watch the upcoming “movie” of the inevitable Ron and Sammie fight. Everyone thought the chain of events was obvious, yet Ron and Sammie tried to work it out.  

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The Jersey Shore: Ronnie & Sam’s Break-Up (Gottman Saw It Coming)

It took a lot longer than it probably should have, but the turbulent relationship between Ronnie and Sammie on The Jersey Shore has come to its inevitable end. Finally. The Situation best summarized their relationship when he basically said “I like both of them, but I just don’t them together.”  But really…who didn’t see this coming?

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