Expecting marriage to be a deeply fulfilling relationship makes it more likely that the union will thrive, or that it will doom with disappointment. According to a Florida State University study, high standards improve satisfaction only when a marriage is strong to begin with. For weaker unions, including those involving passive aggression or severe differences, high standards only make things worse. Author Dr. James McNulty said that some people demand too much from their marriages because they are requiring that their marriages fulfill needs that they are not capable of achieving, either because they have limited time, energy, effort, or skills to apply to their marriages. McNulty added, "But other people demand too little from their marriages. Their marriage is a potential source of personal fulfillment that they are not exploiting. Ultimately, spouses appear to be best off to the extent that they ask of their marriages as much as, but not more than, their marriages are able to give them." ‘Expecting a lot can make marriage more satisfying, but if the spouse cannot meet those expectations, whether for lack of time, effort, or social skills, the relationship will suffer.’ The researchers utilized data from 135 newlywed couples living in eastern Tennessee. "When it comes to verbal problem-solving, indirect hostility is more destructive than direct hostility," says McNulty. "Prior work by our lab and others indicates that direct hostility, such as blaming the partner for a problem and demanding that the partner change, can have important benefits to some couples, specifically those who need to change. The key is that direct hostility communicates that there is a need for change and even how each partner wants things to change. Our prior research indicates indirect hostility is harmful for all couples." "Each marriage is different; people differ in their compatibility, their skills, and the external stressors they face," says McNulty. "All of these play an important role in determining how successful a marriage will be and thus how much people should demand from it." McNulty noted that this research suggests people need to have some idea of what they can get from marriage before they get it. That is obviously difficult, which may explain why couples experience a mismatch between what they demand and what they can actually attain. "Couples need to realize their strengths and weaknesses and calibrate their standards accordingly," advises McNulty. The study appears in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Source: ANI << People who Check their Smartphone Often may be Impulsive Yellow Fever Death Toll in Angola Rises to at Least 250 >> Recommended Reading Expectations About Incoming Events May Shape Infants' Developing Brains Infants not only learn about their external worlds, but are ready - from very early in life - to make predictions about the co-occurrence of events in their life. READ MORE Human Perception Influenced by Prior Knowledge and Expectations Called Top-Down Control This cognitive process supports the theory that the brain does not represent the environment but rather attempts to predict it based upon prior knowledge. READ MORE Conventional Behavior In Young Children is Driven by Expectations for Social Conformity Kids are sensitive to the distinction between instrumental and conventional goals and flexibly adapt their behavior accordingly depending on reason for action. READ MORE Raising a Child With Disabilities: Empathy, Realistic Expectations Higher risk for abuse and neglect from parents is seen in children with developmental disabilities than children developing at a typical rate. READ MORE Amoebic Dysentery Amoebic dysentery or amoebiasis is an infection of the intestine that causes diarrhoea most frequently along with other causes. READ MORE Divorce: Pros and Cons Divorce can be traumatic for children and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. Couples should realize that joined parenting is important even after divorce. READ MORE How to Save your marriage You can save your marriage - even when your partner insists on a divorce. READ MORE Is Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married? The stigma linked to staying single is gradually disappearing. More people opt to stay single and many even claim to be happier. But there are both advantages and disadvantages to staying single. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Iron Intake Calculator Color Blindness Calculator Drug Interaction Checker More News on: Amoebic DysenteryHow to Save your marriageDivorce: Pros and ConsIs Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married?