According to a helpful new study from UC Berkeley, it’s a wife’s ability to cool off after a fight that leads to long-term happiness in a marriage. The researchers looked at filmed interactions of 80 couples after quarrels, and discovered that the wives’ recovery times had a bigger impact than the husbands’ on the quality of each relationship, both in the short and the long term.
Whether or not the dude partner is holding onto steaming resentment for weeks and weeks is irrelevant. Actually, according to lead author Robert Levenson, it might be harmful if men recover quickly:
Ironically, this may not work so well for husbands, whose wives often criticize them for leaping into problem-solving mode too quickly.
So many lessons from this helpful research to gather into a bundle and apply to lives!
Wives: Zen yourself immediately. Faster is better. Anticipate the fight, play through it, count to ten, process the fight before the fight. No time is too early to recover. Just check out halfway through and sprint to calmness. Stroke the chin of your dear spouse and say: Hush. I know that my emotional recovery is all that matters for our collective happiness. I’m over it. Feel free to feel for however long you need.
Husbands: Stew, suffer, wallow, freestyle through an infinity pool of your frustrated rage. No matter. Your marriage quality will not suffer.