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Optimism About Marriage Can Have Negative Effects

sad womanWhen two people get married there is always a sense of optimism. Everyone hopes that they will be together forever, especially the couple themselves. But a new study released recently shows that this optimism may not be good for the marriage. Hoping for too much happiness might end up in disappointment and even divorce.

The study was published in the Journal of Family Psychology in June 2013. The researchers, Justin A. Layner, Benjamin R. Karney, and Thomas N. Bradbury examined the effects of optimism have on the wives during their marriages. Over the course of four years, more than 250 couples were followed and surveyed about the happiness of their marriage.

If women in the marriage had high expectations, their optimism was rewarded with grief. The researchers wrote in their study that ‘wives who predicted the greatest increases in satisfaction actually had the greatest declines in satisfaction.” The negative effects included worse self-esteem, greater feelings of aggression towards their husbands and a worse reaction to stress in their lives. The negative effects were less in wives who had a more moderate view of their marriage.

Their conclusion might seem counter-intuitive but it is corroborated by a different study of marriages conducted by Lisa A. Neff and Andrew L. Geers. ‘These other researchers stated that those newlyweds who are more optimistic about their marriage ‘experienced steeper declines in marital well-being over time.” Their conclusion was that optimism in these cases might make it more difficult for couples to manage problems and come up with solutions. That optimism might also make couples more likely to stay together even in a bad marriage.

If you are stuck in a bad marriage, do not make a similar mistake. ‘There is no benefit in staying in a marriage that is not working no matter how optimistic you are that it will work. ‘The guidance of a legal professional can bridge the gap between the life you want and the life you have now. ‘Contact an experienced’family law attorney in Geneva today who can act on your best interests.

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