Anger, Not Forgiveness, May Be the Key to Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

The folks over at MedicalDaily.com may be on to something!

In a recent article, it states that anger, not forgiveness, may be the key to maintaining a healthy relationship.

The time-honored tradition of forgive and forget may not be the best way to a happy marriage, psychologists revealed.

Instead, they claim that expressing your anger and having a heated but honest conversation could be more effective clearing the air and guaranteeing a long and healthy relationship.

Relationship psychologists at Florida State University said that forgiveness does not always work and could actually cause some major problems in an intimate relationship.

“I continued to find evidence that thoughts and behaviors presumed to be associated with better well-being lead to worse well-being among some people — usually the people who need the most help achieving well-being,” researcher James McNulty said in a statement.

McNulty looked at the potential costs of positive psychology by looking at previous studies and found that that forgiveness in a marriage can have some untended negative effects.

“We all experience a time in a relationship in which a partner transgresses against us in some way,” he said. “For example, a partner may be financially irresponsible, unfaithful, or unsupportive.”

He said that when these problems in the relationship occur, partners must decide whether they should be angry and to hold onto their anger or to forgive.

He discovered that a variety of factors can complicate the effectiveness of forgiveness, including a partner’s level of agreeableness and the severity and frequency of the wrongdoing.

He said that while an agreeable person who believes that their partner is forgiving is less likely to offend their partner, a disagreeable person may actually be more likely to offend their partner.

Furthermore, he said that anger can serve a vital role in signaling to a transgressing partner that their offensive behavior is not acceptable.

“If the partner can do something to resolve a problem that is likely to otherwise continue and negatively affect the relationship, people may experience long-term benefits by temporarily withholding forgiveness and expressing anger,” he said.

However, psychologists note that there is never a single answer to a problem.

“There is no ‘magic bullet,’ no single way to think or behave in a relationship. The consequences of each decision we make in our relationships depends on the circumstances that surround that decision,” he concluded.

aa-tribalfang

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