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Relationship success requires hard work and homework

Posted on: February 8, 2013 12:04:25

Relationship success requires hard work and homeworkWhen a relationship has taken a turn for the worst, some people resort to all kinds of things to try and rescue the failing romance.

For some couples, counselling is beneficial when issues arise and need dealing with, while others find the only option appears to be endlessly bickering.

However, recent findings suggest that writing down your issues might be the key to keeping the romance alive during difficult times.

Now, nobody expects you to recreate a dissertation everyday, but a mere seven minutes spent writing from someone else's perspective, three times a year, has been found to improve love lives.

Doing a little bit of 'homework' and writing an essay every now and again boosts feelings of love, intimacy and trust among couples, scientists found.

Although the method might seem like a rather novel way of dealing with relationship troubles, the reasons behind it are actually quite simple.

By writing from an outsider's point of view, researchers claimed, it helps individuals see and understand conflict through a fresh pair of eyes.

Paula Hall, Relate counsellor, told the MailOnline: "If you can step away from the emotion of an argument after some time has elapsed and maintain a sense of perspective, hopefully you can move on to see what you can do differently. Effectively, that's what counselling does."

The study, which focused on married couples, showed that satisfaction between a couple fell over the course of the first year. However, respondents who did their homework saw issues iron out easier and any rows they did have caused less upset than couples who didn't complete the essays.

Professor Finkel from Northwestern University, who carried out the research, said: "Not only did the effect emerge for marital satisfaction, it also emerged for other relationship processes - like passion and sexual desire. These effects emerged whether people were married for one month, 50 years, or anywhere in between."

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