Entries in relationship decline (6)


The "Marriage Hack"

It seems like everywhere you turn, professionals are trying to make your life easier. Medical doctors discover breakthrough treatments for illnesses. Engineers design revolutionary new gadgets and devices. And psychologists devise simple and ingenious activities for couples to sustain their relationships.

For most married couples, satisfaction declines over time, meaning that couples typically become less and less happy with their relationships the longer they’ve been together. But a group of scientists developed an intervention that they have affectionately termed, “The Marriage Hack” (see the TED talk here), utilizing a technique they call emotional reappraisal. Emotional reappraisal occurs when couples re-evaluate their experiences by imagining how a neutral 3rd party (an unbiased person outside the couple) would view their behavior.

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Can She Fall In Love With Me Again?

I'm currently in a long-term relationship where, after a difficult year of dealing with depression, my partner has claimed to have fallen "out" of love. However, she tells me that she is committed to trying to make things work. Is this feeling really something that can be regained over time? Or is now a point where one has to make the decision to love the person they're with?

Thank you for your question. Your experience is not uncommon, and the answer lies in a number of articles about love that have previously appeared on Science of Relationships (e.g., My partner has been less affectionate lately, what gives?). Love is defined in so many different ways—it sounds as if your partner does love you, just not in the way that she used to.

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Breaking Up with Your Job: Mad Men Demonstrates What Work Relationships and Romantic Relationships Have in Common

In a recent episode of Mad Men, Peggy was seriously thinking about jumping ship from SCDP to another company. In case you’re not completely caught up with the show yet, I won’t tell you want she ended up choosing, but you can see how this could be a very difficult decision for her or for anyone contemplating leaving a job. On the one hand, Peggy likely holds some resentment for her boss and her coworkers, given that she has not always been treated fairly at SCDP; this dissatisfaction may motivate her to look elsewhere. On the other hand, as we know, breaking up is hard to do. What about all of the time and energy that she has put into the company over the years? And what about her loyalty to Don? 

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Hey Girl, Ryan Gosling Likes Relationship Science


Could You Forgive a Cheater? 

Everyone seems to agree that infidelity is just about the worst thing that can happen in a romantic relationship. In many societies across the world, adultery is more likely to end a relationship than infertility, personality conflicts, inadequate money, and conflicts with in-laws.1 Perhaps that’s also the reason why infidelity is a common reason for taking revenge against romantic partners.2

But not everyone’s experience with infidelity is the same. Some cheaters are forgiven, and some relationships actually survive.

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Relationship Decline: A Coincidence?

From xkcd.com.