Journal Emotion recently carried a study conducted by Lian Bloch, and Claudia Hasse. This research created a stir among the readers as it suggested that marriages where wives remained calm during conflicts were the happiest. This study was taunted as an anti-feminist by many readers.
It may be frustrating and disappointing for most women to agree with these suggestions, but there are reasons that justify the findings of this study.
The focus has all along been on the ability of women to control their emotions
The results of this research are based upon studies that measured bodily parameters such as sweating, body temperature, feelings, and their facial expressions through observation of couples engaged fights. These studies have found that females are better at regulating their emotions and it is easier for them to recover from foul feelings. Happiest marriages were thus those where wives controlled their anger quickly, not allowing the conflict to assume great proportions.
However, this particular study found that men too could regulate their emotions. Nevertheless, social stereotyping of women as emotionally more balanced than men has led to researches focusing more upon the ability of women to regulate their emotions. This is the reason why these studies have generally found a link between marital happiness and the ability of wives to calm down quickly during fights.
Conflicts are easily resolved when communication is constructive
It was found that along with calming down quickly, wives in happiest marriages were also able to communicate effectively with their husbands. They were better able to express their true feelings and able to suggest solutions for conflict resolution. These communication strategies keep in sharp contrast to those where spouses on criticizing and blaming each other. Meaningful communication, even in moments of conflict, is a good way to find a solution to a conflict. This does not mean that women should remain silent and avoid a conflict. Conflicts are good in the sense that they let spouses identify trouble spots in their relationships.
The study does not offer a prescription for conflict resolution
It is not correct to deduce conclusions from this study, as it is descriptive in nature. The success of a marriage is dependent upon that ability of both spouses to learn the skills of downplaying anger and negative feelings during their fights. It is also dependent upon the way they communicate in moments of heated exchanges.