2 Ways To Improve Your Relationship

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Marriage is about balancing
what you put in with what you expect to get out.
Couples are becoming
increasingly dissatisfied with their marriages because they are demanding more
without putting in the necessary time.
Spouses either need to demand
less from their relationship or put in more effort, says psychologist Professor
Eli Finkel.
Increasingly, those with
children put all their time into parenting and those without children
concentrate on work.
As a result, there is less
time to spend on the relationship.
Professor Finkel, the study’s
first author, sees two options:
“You can demand less from your
partner, focusing less on resource-intensive self-expressive needs, or supply
more time and other resources into the marriage.”
It is not so much that people
demand more from modern marriages than they used to, though, says Professor
“The issue isn’t that
Americans are expecting more versus less from their marriage, but rather that
the nature of what they are expecting has changed. 
They’re asking less of their
marriage regarding basic physiological and safety needs, but they’re asking
more of their marriage regarding higher psychological needs like the need for
personal growth.”
The best marriages now are
probably better than they ever were in the past, but many do not reach these
exacting standards.

Professor Finkel says:
“In contemporary marriages,
Americans look to their marriage to help them ‘find themselves’ and to pursue
careers and other activities that facilitate the expression of their core self. 
However, developing such
insight requires a heavy investment of time and psychological resources in the
marriage, not to mention strong relationship skills and interpersonal
Marriage is about balancing
what you put in with what you expect to get out, says Professor Finkel:
“In general, if you want your
marriage to help you achieve self-expression and personal growth, it’s crucial
to invest sufficient time and energy in the marriage. 
If you know that the time and
energy aren’t available, then it makes sense to adjust your expectations
accordingly to minimize disappointment.”
The study was published in the
journal Current Directions in Psychological Science (Finkel et al., 2015).

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.