He found that each of us have three "ego states" operating at once: • The parent: What you've been taught • The child: What you have felt • The adult: What you have learned When you're in a relationship, you relate on each of those levels: • The parent: Do you have similar values and beliefs about the world? Friendship, the paper found, is a key mechanism that could help explain the causal relationship between marriage and life satisfaction.
A study of 3,000 Americans who had ever been married found that age discrepancies correlate with friction in marriages.
For example, say a wife comes home to her partner and shares an accomplishment.
An "active-constructive" response would be the best, according to Amie Gordon, a social psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley: • An active-constructive response from the partner would be enthusiastic support: "That's great, honey! You've been working so hard." • A passive-constructive response would be understated support: a warm smile and a simple "that's good news." • An active-destructive response would be a statement that demeaned the event: "Does this mean you are going to be gone working even longer hours now? " • Finally, a passive-destructive response would virtually ignore the good news: "Oh, really?
Meanwhile, another series of studies, led by a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, found that more grateful couples were more likely to still be together nine months later.