New Research Offers Solutions To Age-Old Relationship Problems – Forbes

Research says there is nothing new about conflicts and confusion in long-term relationships. The … [+] path to their resolution, however, can be novel.
Most people will tell you about certain challenges that arise sooner or later in long-term relationships. In most cases, it is enough knowing that you are not alone and that rough patches are a completely normal part of intimate relationships.
However, there are certain times when an issue prompts you to question the very foundation of your relationship. Luckily, research in psychology can give us clues on how to answer our deepest and most unnerving relationship questions.
Here are three hallmark hurdles that you might face in a long-term relationship and some research-backed advice to help you combat them.
An alteration in what you expect from a significant other in your relationship over time is natural. But asking them to change can be a delicate and potentially damaging process.
Being asked to change can evoke intense emotions for the changing partner. To make requests for change relatively easy and less stressful for your significant other, researcher Natalie Sisson of the University of Toronto gives a couple of tips:

Any activity that is repetitive and lacks newness can feel obligatory. This is especially true in the case of sex, which is usually portrayed as an aspect of a relationship that keeps things exciting.
Psychologists suggest that couples can, and often do, engage in maintenance sex to keep their sex lives active.
Maintenance sex refers to sessions of scheduled sexual activity in a relationship wherein at least one or both partners may not desire the sexual activity they are participating in due to various reasons, including a lack of sex drive.
Researcher Cory Pedersen of Kwantlen Polytechnic University of Canada says that indulging in maintenance sex can help couples experience greater relationship satisfaction as partners begin to develop a deeper understanding of each other’s needs, which often translates into better sex.
Another solution to the ‘sexual plateau’ problem is to express more gratitude in one’s relationship. A recent study tracked 118 couples’ gratitude and sexual satisfaction level over the course of three months and found out that people were sexually satisfied to the extent that they expressed and received a high degree of gratitude with their partners.
“Maintaining sexual satisfaction is a critical, yet challenging, aspect of most romantic relationships,” says psychologist Ashlyn Brady of the University of North Carolina. “Results from our study suggest that experiencing and receiving gratitude increases the motivation to meet a partner’s sexual needs.”
It can’t be said enough that a poor relationship with ourselves almost always translates into a poor relationship with our partner.
One’s self-relationship could suffer for various reasons, such as low self-esteem due to a failure at work or chronic issues such as depression or an insecure attachment style.
Lifestyle medicine and positive psychology are great resources when it comes to improving or repairing your relationship with yourself. Here are some tips from both fields to help kick-start your self-love journey:

Conclusion: Love and romance are usually portrayed as mysterious and elusive experiences that human beings have little to no control over. Therapists and researchers argue, however, that with effective communication, patience, and effort there are no relationship problems too big to overcome.

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