Women are often frustrated in their relationships
Scientifically proven reasons why men leave the women they love
Love is complicated and in most cases it doesn't last forever. In Germany, the divorce rate is over 40 percent. Then there are the countless unmarried couples who split up. All in all, that's a lot of broken hearts.
Who's to blame? One, both? Women break up more often than men, but men split up without warning. They don't complain when they're dissatisfied. They suffer silently, as a survey by the portal "Elite partners" showed. And one day they just go.
It doesn't have to mean that their love is gone.
Most relationships fail for the same reason
US researchers have followed hundreds of couples over the years to find the most common cause of separation. The team around the psychologist John Gottman came to an astonishingly clear result. The reason most relationships fail can be expressed in one word: disregard.
Gottman invited newlyweds to a laboratory that was set up like a small boarding house. There he observed her behavior for a day. He noticed that they communicated very differently with one another.
In almost all couples there were moments when one partner made the other an offer to talk to. It wasn't necessarily about big issues, it was about the little things. For example, a partner might say, "I spoke to my sister today."
There are now two ways for the other to react. He can respond and, for example, ask how the sister is doing or what she has said. But he can also ignore the sentence, broach a completely different topic or say: "Let me watch TV in peace."
Years later, Gottman contacted the couple again. Some still had happy relationships. Others had split up. You might have guessed it: it was almost exclusively those couples who failed who had reacted negatively to the other's offers.
In another experiment, the researchers found with these so-called disaster candidates that their love conflict was even physical. They had high blood pressure and a faster heartbeat when talking about their relationship. Just the presence of her partner stressed her and triggered her instinct to flee.
He is nourished by all the times when they have been rejected or cut down by the other. Your desire for closeness and trust remains unfulfilled. They keep trying to connect. And at some point they give up.
Of course, this destructive behavior exists in women and men alike. But while women often try to resolve the conflict, men accept disregard. It builds up, grows, eats its way through everything that once made the relationship beautiful. Until in the end the patience is gone and a breakup seems to be the only way.
A high-profile study by the University of Copenhagen showed that men with a nagging partner have a drastically shortened lifespan. In fact, their death rate is significantly higher than that of women who are with a nagging man. According to the researchers, this is due to the stress hormone cortisol, which is released more strongly in men and affects the heart and circulation.
When men talk about their dissatisfaction, it is often too late. You have already made your decision to leave. But it can also work differently, as the story of an Internet user shows.
The woman told the Reddit portal about the moment she realized that she had unconsciously humiliated her husband for years with her nagging:
“He always cleaned up something wrong. Or something left out. Or completely forget to do something. And I was always there to point it out to him.
Why do I do this? What good is it to me that I keep putting my husband down? The man I have as a partner in my life. The father of my children. The person I want by my side when I get old. Why do I do what women are so often accused of and why do I try to change the way he does every little thing? "
She tells of moments that opened her eyes. For example when she found a piece of glass on the floor and asked her husband what happened. He confessed that the day before he broke a glass and quickly cleared away the broken pieces so that they would not go crazy again.
Or when she scolded him for buying ground beef with the wrong fat content. "Why didn't you buy the healthier option?" She asked him. And: “Did you even read the label? Why can't I trust you? ”He just looked at her, resigned and sad.
Because she understood what she had done in her husband by her disregard, she changed her behavior. She wants to give other women advice:
“If we want to keep making our husbands feel small, or stupid, or awkward because they may have messed things up, at some point they stop trying. Or worse, they think they are really small or stupid.
I'm talking about the man I've been married to for twelve years. The man who changed my car tire for me in the rain. The man who taught my kids to ride a bike. The person who was in the hospital with me all night when my mother was sick. The man who has always worked hard to enable me to have a decent life and who has always supported his family. "
According to the psychologist and couple counselor Steven Stosny, criticism is only seemingly harmless. You can tell your partner if you don't like something, many think. And do not notice what they are causing.
"Criticism begins very casually in close relationships and escalates over time," writes Stosny. “It becomes a downward spiral and arouses greater and greater aversion. The criticized person feels controlled, which frustrates the criticizing partner. He criticizes even more, the other feels even more criticized, and so on. "
According to Stosny, criticism in a close relationship always means that one must submit to the other partner. As an alternative to constant criticism, the psychologist suggests giving feedback. He explains the difference with a few examples:
- Criticism focuses on what is wrong. ("Why can't you take care of the bills?")
- Feedback focuses on improving something. ("Let's go through the bills together.")
- Criticism assumes negative characteristics of the other ("You are stubborn and lazy.")
- Feedback is about behavior, not personality. ("Can we start by sorting the invoices by due date?")
- Criticism devalued. ("Apparently you're just not smart enough for that.")
- Feedback encourages. ("I know you have a lot to do, but I'm sure we can do it together.")
Let's go back to the beginning. To the newlyweds from Gottman's long-term study. What have the couples done better who have had a fulfilling relationship even after years?
Right from the start, you did not treat your partner with disregard, but with appreciation. They accept his offers to interact ("My boss was annoying again today." "Check out this funny YouTube video." "I have a new project at work."). In the presence of the other, they are calm and trusting because they always treat one another with respect.
Gottman believes that this behavior alone can tell whether a love is permanent. Or whether it will break soon. The good news: You can learn to recognize your partner's offers and respond to them.
It all starts with the decision to turn to the other in such situations. We can choose to first see the good in our partner. Once we do that, we will notice a lot more of it. The other will grow from it. Love too.
This article was published by Business Insider in September 2019. It has now been reviewed and updated.
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