The marriages in which spouses were able to work well together, including being direct about what their partner did that made them mad and what they wanted that partner to do about it, were more likely to feel that the marriage met their high expectations for happiness.
But people in marriages where a spouse resorted to indirect hostility — things like sarcasm, mind reading and hostile jokes — were less likely to feel things measured up.
Indirect hostility leaves a partner wondering what the heck is wrong, That is why it is problematic; it conveys discontent without providing the partner with clear information about how to address the underlying issue.
But here’s the rub: If those couples had low expectations for marriage from the get-go, they didn’t become significantly less happy. Their expectations were fulfilled. To read more from NANCY SHUTE, click here.
Donna Shanahan, LMFT practices Couples Therapy Pasadena, CA Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.