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How Negativity Can Kill a Relationship

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https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/01/negativity-can-ruin-relationships/604597/

theatlantic.com

How Negativity Can Kill a Relationship
There's an elegant symmetry to traditional wedding vows: for better or for worse. But love is not symmetrical, and most of us don't realize how lopsided it can be. The worse matters far more than the better in marriage or any other relationship. That's how the brain works.

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The Negativity Bias

The Negativity Bias
... or the Negativity Effect is a tendency most of us have to respond more strongly to negative events and emotions than to positive ones.
Any further action that is ...

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Magnified Faults

The Negativity Effect magnifies and distorts your partner's faults, whether real or imaginary.

The partner starts to wonder why isn't there any appreciation for all the good that is being don...

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Going Downhill

Relationships, especially long-term ones, don't get better with time but are kept intact by avoiding decline.

Married couples find contentment in other sources and remain satisfied with ea...

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How We Respond

There are four ways a partner response to something he or she doesn't like in the other:

  1. Ignore.
  2. Talk and find some solution.
  3. Keep sulking while providing silent treatmen...

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"It is not so much the good, constructive things that partners do or do not do for one another that determines whether a relationship 'works' as it is the destructive things that they do or do n...

Caryl Rusbult

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Early Feelings

A new relationship that looks promising can make us think it will be happy forever, as we feel happy at that time.

A study shows that even after a couple of years the same people who were ...

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Same-Sex Couples

Negativity seems to be less of a problem in same‑sex couples.

Both male and female couples tend to be more positive than heterosexual couples when dealing with conflict, both ...

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Conflict Patterns

The “female‑demand, male‑withdrawal” is the most known conflict pattern in heterosexual couples.

This happens when women start complaining or initiate criticism and men respond by wit...

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Relationship Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of The Relationship Apocalypse:

  • Criticism: is staging the problem in a relationship as a character flaw in a partner.
  • Defensiveness: res...

Building "Love Maps"

It means getting to know your partner really well, including his/her internal psychological world.

Ask questions, deep and personal ones. Get past“When will you be there?” or “Don’t forget to pick up milk.”

Show Admiration

Admiration is about the story you tell yourself about your partner.

Masters see their partners as better than they really are. Disasters see their partners as worse than they really are.

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Conflict mistaken for passion

Arguments and disagreements in relationships are normal, but screaming matches and every day fighting isn’t.

People who seek out conflict in their relationship for the intens...

Keeping the peace

Ignoring problems in a relationship in order to avoid conflict will only mean that the problems pile up until they can no longer be ignored – and by then, it might be too hard to fix.

Keeping score

Keeping track of the things that you do, versus the things that they do is a way to create pressure and conflict where there should only be teamwork. 

Sit down together and work out a plan on things like chores or bills, and who does or pays what.

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Humor In A relationship

A sense of humor is desirable in a relationship, as people, especially men seem more desirable if they are funny.

The humor effect is not universally the same, with short-term relationships g...

Humor During Stress

Generally, humor is a great ice-breaker and social lubricant, but if there are stressful situations in a relationship, humor actually increases the chances of a break-up or divorce.

Laughing With Your Partner

An intimate relationship requires opening up with your partner and being vulnerable, something that may feel uncomfortable to some people. Relationship satisfaction is affected if:

  • Couples like to laugh at others.
  • Partners like if someone laughs at one of them, or if the other partner makes fun of them.
  • Partners dislike if the other makes fun of them.

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