Thursday, January 21, 2010

What Makes Relationships Work?

From an article in the Guardian in which Kate Figes', author of a new book, Couples: The Truth, discusses her research into modern relationships:

"In the course of her research, Figes cheerfully demolished a number of long-standing myths about ­couples. One in three marriages ends in ­divorce? Not true. The risk of divorce varies hugely according to age, class and length of marriage. Once you've survived the first seven years, the risk of divorce drops dramatically. Marriage kills passion? Not true. People in long-term relationships have more and better sex than single people. A lack of commitment is to blame for relationships breaking down? Not true. On average, couples stick together for six years before taking steps to bail out."

"A key component of successful ­relationships, she discovered, is flexibility. "It comes through very clearly from the interviews: the most successful ­relationships are flexible enough to change and adapt. Nobody is perfect, and no relationship is perfect. Unless you can change your expectations, you're bound to be terribly disappointed."

"Another fundamental ingredient for success seems to be honesty. Figes nods vigorously. "Being honest about who you are and what you want is ­vital. Otherwise, how do you each know where you stand? Without real honesty, you don't stand a hope in hell."

"You have to learn to ask yourself, 'what is it about me that's making me feel this way?', not just blame things on the other person."

"Bad relationships are clearly harmful in many ways, but one of the things I've learned from writing this book is the overwhelming power of good that comes from good relationships – mind, body and soul. We don't give that nearly enough credit."

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Good luck with your new book, it looks very interesting - I look forward to reading it! As a marriage therapist for many years, I took all I had learned and wrote: "A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage" (Boston Globe #1 relationship pick) -- come by and visit @