Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why You May Lose That Loving Feeling After Tying The Knot

Date:
April 23, 2009
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Dating couples whose dreams include marriage would do well to step back and reflect upon the type of support they'll need from their partners when they cross the threshold, a new study suggests. Whether the partner who supports your hopes and aspirations while you are dating also can help you fulfill important responsibilities and obligations that come with marriage could make a difference in how satisfied you are after tying the knot.

Dating couples whose dreams include marriage would do well to step back and reflect upon the type of support they'll need from their partners when they cross the threshold, a new Northwestern University study suggests.

Will the partner who supports your hopes and aspirations while you are dating also help you fulfill important responsibilities and obligations that come with marriage? The answer to that question could make a difference in how satisfied you are after tying the knot.

Believing a partner is there to help you grow into the person you aspire to be predicted higher relationship satisfaction for both dating and married couples, the study showed. But the belief that your partner helps you live up to your responsibilities and uphold your commitments only predicted higher relationship satisfaction after marriage.

For dating couples, the relationship itself tends to revolve around whether things are moving forward. Happiness with a partner depends on whether the relationship will grow into something more, whether a partner will support the dreams the other eventually hopes to achieve.

For married couples, the feeling that their partners are helping them to advance their relationships and realize their ideal achievements is still important. But the relationships of married couples, now more interconnected both practically and psychologically, tend to revolve around upholding the commitment made to their partners. Unlike dating couples, married couples also put a high premium on their partners' support of whatever they determine to be necessary obligations.

"In other words, the feelings of being loved and supported that people use to judge who makes a good girlfriend or boyfriend may not be completely trustworthy in deciding who makes a good husband or wife," said Daniel Molden, assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern and lead author of the study. "Those feelings may only partially capture the emotions that will determine your satisfaction with the person you marry."

The findings, Molden said, could be important in explaining why so many marriages fall apart.

The study, which will be published in the July issue of Psychological Science, included 92 heterosexual dating couples and 77 married couples. They completed a battery of questionnaires that included an assessment of how much they thought their partner understood and supported both the hopes and responsibilities they had set for themselves. To measure how different types of perceived support were related to happiness with the relationship, couples also completed well-validated measures of satisfaction, intimacy and trust.

Previous research overwhelmingly demonstrates an important connection between feelings about partner support and satisfaction with a relationship but does not reveal any differences for dating versus married couples.

By identifying different ways in which people feel supported by their partners, the new Northwestern study goes beyond past work to show that support for maintaining perceived responsibilities seems to be important for satisfaction only after marriage.

The study also showed that different types of perceived support predicted differences in people's overall satisfaction with their lives.

"People planning to get married should think about not only how their partners support what they hope to achieve but also about how their partners support what they feel obligated to accomplish," Molden said. "We could end up with both happier marriages and more satisfied people in general."

Besides Molden, the study's co-investigators are Northwestern's Gale Lucas and Eli Finkel; Madoka Kumashiro, Goldsmiths, University of London; and Caryl Rusbult, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Why You May Lose That Loving Feeling After Tying The Knot." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422085150.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2009, April 23). Why You May Lose That Loving Feeling After Tying The Knot. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422085150.htm
Northwestern University. "Why You May Lose That Loving Feeling After Tying The Knot." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422085150.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins