Happy Spouse, Happy House? Focusing On Your Partner Indicates Strong And Healthy Relationship, Reveals Study

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Marriage is a beautiful relationship between two people and it should be nurtured and celebrated. Maintaining a balanced and healthy relationship is not easy and this becomes more difficult if the spouse is suffering from any kind of severe disease.

A research has been carried out by Megan Robbins, professor of Psychology at University of California, which shares that focusing on one’s spouse leads to a healthy relationship.

Robbins studied how to make spouses happier and bring in positive vibes in the marriage specially, if one of the partners was suffering from a serious illness.

The Study

For the purpose of the study, she and her team examined 52 married couples who were dealing with breast cancer. The selected couples were asked to use a recorder known as Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR).

This device was able to record 50 seconds of sound in every nine minutes. Researchers studied the recorded conversations in the device.

The selected couples used the device for the duration of two days starting on a Friday and ending on Sunday, excluding their sleeping hours. Robbins and her team scrutinized recorded conversation that did not deal with the cancer and labeled them as normal.

It was observed by the researchers that 95 percent of the daily conversations that took place between the spouses were normal.

What The Study Revealed

After extensive observation and research of the recorded conversations, it was seen that usage of pronouns like “I”, “my” and “me” by the spouse along with “you” and “your” spoken by the patient showed positivity in the marriage quality.

They also studied and focused on the usage of positive words in a conversation like “love” and “care”, anxiety words like “stress” and “worry”, sad words like “woe” and “cry”.

“Spouses’ use of first-person singular pronouns, and patients’ use of second-person pronouns, was positively related to better marital quality for both partners as the focus wasn’t always on the patient. So, it reflects balance and interdependency between partners,” shared Professor Robbins.

She further noted that usage of a small pronoun may seem very insignificant, but in reality reveals who an individual in focusing upon. It is also reflective of how a person sees himself or herself in the relationship. A pronoun used in conversations apparently reveals a lot about that relationship especially during testing times.

The study found that giving attention and love to the healthy spouse rather than the patient takes the marriage to a better place for both the partners.

They research has been published online in the journal Personal Relationships.

Photo: Vladmir Pustovit | Flickr

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