Bickering couples likely to keep bickering for the rest of their marriages
Washington: Do you fight and argue all day with your spouse? If yes, then your current level of conflict probably won’t change much for the remainder of your marriage, according to a study.
The researchers made the conclusion after following nearly 1,000 couples over 20 years, from 1980 to 2000.
“There wasn’t much change in conflict over time,” said Claire Kamp Dush, lead author of the study and assistant professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.
“There was a very slight decrease in the amount of conflict reported in the final years of the study, which was slightly larger for the high-conflict couples. Still, the differences over time were small,” added Dush, who conducted the study with Miles Taylor of Florida State University.
The researchers found that people in low-conflict marriages were more likely than others to say they shared decision-making with their spouses.
“That’s interesting because you might think that making decisions jointly would create more opportunities for conflict, but that’s not what we found,” Dush said.
“These couples believed in traditional gender roles and may have avoided conflict because of their beliefs in life-long marriage. These couples were also unlikely to divorce.”
“It may be that if both spouses have a say in decision making, they are more satisfied with their relationship and are less likely to fight,” added Dush.
People in the low conflict group were also more likely than those who reported high levels of conflict to say that they believed in traditional, life-long marriage.
“People who believe marriage should last forever may also believe that fighting is just not worth it. They may be more likely to just let disagreements go,” Kamp Dush said.