Research shows the surprising downside of forgiving a partner too easily.
How often have you heard the old "never go to bed angry" relationship adage? New research has found that quite the opposite may be the best way to deal with your guy when he's been "bad."
To prevent long-term strife with your sweetie, it seems to pay to act less like a lovebird and more like a, well... parent after he screws up. If your child scribbles with crayon all over the dining room wall, and you say, "It's OK, honeypie," they're just going to do it again, right? Same is true in a relationship, say psychology researchers from the University of Tennessee. Why Women Aren't Attracted To Their Sons
To track forgiveness, researchers asked 135 newlywed couples to fill out relationship diaries every day for a week. The diaries included a questionnaire about whether the person's partner had done something to upset them, and whether they'd forgiven their partner for the transgression.
Overall, spouses who forgave their partners were almost twice as likely to report that their partner "misbehaved" the next day as those who held a grudge, the study found.
However, the researchers warn that this finding doesn't necessarily mean you should never forgive your partner. What it does show is that forgiveness can be a problem when the offending partner has a tendency to abuse his or her spouse's trust. How To Forgive Your Spouse In 8 Steps
The bottom-line: Don't blindly hold a grudge or blindly forgive your partner—neither will make for smoother sailing in your relationship's future. The only thing that will is proactive problem-solving. Realize that you're both human beings, capable of making mistakes, and then do what you can as a couple to pre-empt those mistakes down the road.