We all begin life learning about relationships whether we know it or not. We might pick up on how to make them work well, or not, and they can be awkward and unpleasant at times. It is not always easy to see why they are good or bad, and relationship psychology is not something couples fathom when a relationship’s progress can be so unpredictable. If that were not so, why would there be couples whose friends would have said they are totally ‘solid,’ only to find that in the very next minute are headed for the divorce courts?
What is it about relationships that some of us don’t get?
It is relationship psychology – knowing the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of how we relate, instead of how we ought to relate. Unfortunately, people being who they are, psychologists cannot save every relationship; they can only do so much.
Nevertheless, psychology gives us a few things to consider when it comes to having good relationships. It gives us insights to what people think and feel, and why they do. This can benefit your relationship by helping you gain understanding and by giving you tools and skills to develop it in a more positive way.
There was a study done by the National Institute of Mental Health of young couples aged between 18 and 21, who shunned intimacy with each other and endeavored to be as independent as they possibly could. The strange thing was that even though it was their choice to maintain their distance, they struggled with abandonment and rejection issues. The exception was those who had high self-esteem, they did not fret the same as the others with lower self-esteem.
Older couples do not seem to have the same tendency for this type of behavior, possibly due to being sure of themselves and who they are. They have had more life experience and are less inclined to be driven by what others think of them. Also they are generally less afraid of the relationship ending. The interesting point of all this is that they are also less likely to break up as a result of this attitude.
I am not saying that only young people break up, because it can happen to anyone at any age, but younger people do seem to break up more frequently.
Anyone who has been in a relationship knows that there are differences in the way men and women relate. Understanding the different relationship psychology of men and women, therefore, is very helpful in building a strong lasting relationship.
One example is that women like to or tend to direct a conversation, whereas men tend to react when drawn into a conversation. This can be a point of tension between couples especially when both are not equally committed to the conversation.
There are also differing styles of communicating between men and women and between individuals, which makes it hard to understand what is said and how it is heard. The trick is to learn a little about how the opposite sex communicates and then about your partner’s language, so that you can have meaningful and satisfying dialogues.
The above are just a couple of the many aspects of relationship psychology. Discovering the different ways women and men think and communicate will help build the connection between you but there is just a little more to it than that. A commitment to make your relationship work is necessary for you to make some genuine progress in building the intimacy between you.
If you are aware your marriage or relationship is not all it could be, bear the information revealed in mind when you are together.
Perhaps you realize you need further help and a marriage counselor could be just what you need. If you are unable to get along to one for whatever reason, the next best step would be to get some expert help by reading a good book about relationship psychology. Make sure you find one that is easy to understand and apply.