Archive for April, 2016

Habits and Non-Habits for a Happy Marriage

Through years of study of relationships and marriages, psychologists have been able to bring to light habits within relationships that make a difference. Carina Wolff wrote an article summarizing these points. The top seven are:

1. They Are Agreeable
2. They Master Communication
3. They Avoid Social Media
4. They Watch Movies Together
5. They Give Their Partner Attention
6. They Marry Their Best Friend
7. They Trust Their Gut

Of these we found it interesting that number 4 was actually a negative indicator – not something you do, but something you don’t do. We can go into details on the others, but the social media element is so important today.

From a study at Boston University Amy Laskowski notes that James Katz, a director of the studies, found a direct connection between the high use of social media and the satisfaction a person feels in their own relationship.

In the study the basic conclusion was that the illusion of belonging to a social group had the effect of allowing the person using the media to detach from their partner and form attachments with those on line. To quote, “The authors say their findings show that heavy use of social networks—specifically Facebook—is “a positive, significant predictor of divorce rate and spousal troubles” in the United States.”

“The study looked at data to understand human behavior as it’s affected by communication technology, especially technologies that are mobile-based,” says Katz, who is also director of BU’s Center for Mobile Communication Studies. “We believe being aware of this situation will empower Facebook users to better understand the implications of their activities and then allow them to make much more informed decisions.”

Katz further noted that “The apparent association between the use of Facebook and other social networking sites and divorce and marital unhappiness in the United States raises troubling questions not only about how we use these tools, but how their use affects marriage.”

In the study the researchers found that “non–social network users reported being 11.4 percent happier with their marriage than heavy social media users. And heavy social media users were 32 percent more likely to think about leaving their spouse, compared with 16 percent for a nonuser.”

Looking back at the seven habits above, is appears that social networks create outside enmeshments that lead to more time and attention moving away from the marriage into the cyber-experience. This degrades the relationship and opens the possibility for seeking gratification in relationships outside the marriage.

Something to consider the next time you find yourself online and an hour has gone by without you being fully aware of that time.

 

By: Armand & Robbin D’Alo