Letting things go is key to a longer, happier marriage

Jul 23, 2013

Old couple

Are longer, happier relationships products of avoiding talking about conflicts?; Credit: Martin Smith/Flickr

Negotiation is at the heart of how we as a culture like to deal with conflicts. From your work life to your home life, how often has the saying “let’s talk about it” come up when things hit a snag? But this collective impulse runs counter to the findings of a new study.

San Francisco State University psychologist Sarah Holley followed over 100 couples for 13 years to see how they approach conflict resolution and finds that for older married couples at least, avoiding talking about conflicts actually leads to happier marriages.

Why is this the case? How do you deal with conflicts in your relationship? Does avoiding a persistently thorny issue work for you and your partner?

Sarah Holley, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Relationships, Emotion, and Health Lab at the San Francisco State University who conducted the research.

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