Extinguishing Love in Romantic Relationships

Why do some families break under stress while others become stronger?

This question is especially relevant in the current times where divorce rates are rising. We all know that having a successful marital relationship requires effort on the part of both partners. But what about personality traits that are ingrained in us genetically and socially?

Personality is composed of a set of stable traits that influence an individual’s perceptions and behaviors. Notwithstanding, we cannot shed our personality, we can certainly learn coping mechanisms that are conducive to a healthy romantic relationship. On the individual level, personality traits and parental upbringing guide behaviors. On the couple level, marital interactions and coping mechanism play a pivotal role in shaping the marital trajectory.

Basic personality traits remain relatively stable during adulthood and impact adult relationships. The notion that innate dispositions. Certain personality traits such as positive emotionality, positive affectivity, and positive expressivity are positively linked with marital satisfaction. Whereas, negative emotionality, negative affectivity, and negative expressivity are negatively correlated with marital satisfaction.

Some factors that contribute to satisfying marital relationships include the feelings of love, commitment, fidelity, trust, respect, social support, sexual interaction, gender roles, communication patterns, philosophy of life, equity of tasks, cognitive processes, shared interests in leisure and children, and similar religious beliefs.

To have a successful marital relationship, partners should pay due attention to on their enduring traits, incidents that are a source of stress in their relationship, and their behaviors, communication styles, and coping mechanisms. Also, objectively appraising marital stressors and avoiding blaming the partner could help de-escalate marital conflict.

For Further Reading

  • Abbasi, I. S. & Alghamdi, N. (2021). Dispositionally Vulnerable? Improving Marital Commitment to Counter Neuroticism and Negative Affect. American Journal of Family Therapy. (Advance online publication).
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About author

Dr. Abbasi founded as a ‘go-to-website’ where couples can learn ways to avoid harmful online behaviors and improve the quality of their relationship. In her research, Dr. Abbasi examined how social media use is linked with romantic relationship problems, mental health, personality, and mood.
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