(NaturalNews) Does the man make or break a marriage? Recent research suggests it may be so.
A team of researchers from the University of Chicago claims that the health and personality of the husband may be the key to avoiding conflict and maintaining a happy marriage.
Published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, the research surveyed older adults who participated in the National Social Life Health and Aging Project. It compared and contrasted the characteristics of husbands and wives whose marriages had lasted an average of 39 years.
The results: When the husband showed a higher level of positivity, the wife in a couple reported less marital conflict. Moreover, positivity levels had no effect on the husbands' reports of conflict.
The nature of conflicts examined centered around whether a spouse is perceived as making too many demands, perpetually criticizing, or getting on the other's nerves.
This particular study examined individual marriages, as opposed to married couples in general. This allowed researchers to obtain reports on individual traits as well as the quality of the marriage from each participant.
Is there a worthwhile point to this study?
It may be helpful to understand how important a man's attitude and level of positivity is. In fact, I can safely say that after 25 years of counseling and coaching, in my experience women are much more likely to be positive and connected in relationships than men are. Also, when a healthy, positive man is in the mix, it is rare that there are serious marital difficulties. That's because the majority of women reciprocate the positive attitude.
I can't say the opposite is true, however. It is common for a healthy, positive woman to be stuck with a negative, emotionally unavailable man who isn't interested in making any self-improvements.
Still, what's the point? On a practical level, this information might not be that valuable. The point is, does your relationship respond well to an infusion of positive energy?
Here is a good test to find out where you stand:
1. Without reservation, invest your conscious effort over time (at least a month), focusing on your partner's positive attributes, giving warm feedback, showing generosity and appreciation and being a GREAT person to be around. (If you simply cannot do this, then you know where to begin - with your own attitude or psychological attachments).
2. Notice what happens. Most likely, one of the following scenarios will occur:
A. Your partner will respond well, increasing happiness and fulfillment in your relationship. This is a great sign. You now know what you can do to increase your mutual joy and create positive loops in your relationship.
B. Your partner will ignore you, not respond, or pretend not to notice your efforts.
C. Your partner will actively resist your positive efforts, becoming even more negative or troubled. He or she may even try to sabotage your good will.
If you know you've been a great partner, yet cannot create a positive emotional connection, then there are deeper issues to look at. For example:
Boundaries and respect
Are the boundaries clear enough to honor each individual in the relationship, or are you trying to control each other?
Self-Sabotage and negative psychological attachments
Self-Sabotage compels people to do the opposite of what makes the happy. It is driven by psychological attachments to old, familiar states of misery (like rejection and humiliation) that we are not strong enough to let go of. We unwittingly sabotage our happiness and chances for success by subconsciously clinging to an old story, a familiar misery or what we've always known. For more on self-sabotage, watch this enlightening free video.
It could be that you and your partner are simply not compatible. In other words, it is nobody's fault. You just don't see life the same way, yet expect each other to do just that. Of course, choosing and clinging to an incompatible lover could be an perfect example of individual self-sabotage.
The best online resource for understanding compatibility and honoring differences is Jake and Hannah Eagle's Dating, Relating and Mating program. It's simple, brilliant and unique.
Where do you stand in your relationship? Does your partner respond well to your positive efforts? Answering this question is the first step to making your relationship life better.
About the author: Watch the free video The AHA! Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.
The information in this video has been called the missing link in mental health and personal development. In a world full of shallow, quick-fix techniques, second rate psychology and pharmaceutical takeovers, real solutions have become nearly impossible to find. Click here to watch the presentation that will turn your world upside down.