Psychology of Relationships

Dr. Ted Huston, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, a pioneer of in the psychology of relationships, did research on 168 married couples through 13 years of marriage. He came to four major conclusions.

Contrary to popular opinion, Huston found that many newlyweds are far from being in blissful love. Couples who marry in romantic bliss are more prone to trouble in the relationship because such intensity is too hard to maintain.

Marriages that start out with less intense romance usually have more promise for the future. The expectation level is more realistic.

Spouses in lasting marriages, not prone to divorce, are less fulfilling to begin with, so there is less disappointment with the romantic ideal.

It is the loss of love and affection, not the conflict of interpersonal issues, that sends couples journeying toward divorce. The important discovery of Dr. Huston's research is discovering the cause of marriages moving toward divorce. Most of us may guess that it's disagreements over interpersonal issues. Yet, the cause discovered is the loss of love and affection.

Love is action born from a heart considering the spouse of great value. In essence, this is the person I don't want to live without.

Affection is the expression of that love. It may come through touch, a kiss, hug, gift or words of endearment. Love needs to be expressed. The loss of affection in marriage is the journey toward divorce, whether a legal or silent divorce.