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By John M Grohol PsyD
December 14, 2009

Wondering how you can show someone in your life that you care about them? Here’s a few suggestions that may help you do just that.

1. Do It, Don’t Say It.

You know that old common wisdom, “Actions speak louder than words”? Well, it’s true. While you can apologize for not doing something until you’re blue in the face, you’ll gain so much more appreciation by another in your life by simply doing it in the first place. Yes, it means you have to work harder to keep on top of things to begin with, even with simple things like taking out the trash or running that errand you said you would. But the reward is that your loved one will know you care because you just did it without being asked or reminded to do so.

2. Refuse to Argue and Pick Your Battles.

Arguments are a constant source of relationship strife, even amongst family members or friends. You may say, “How can I just stop arguing?” Easy, because engaging in a conversation with another person is a choice we make (whether we always do so consciously or not). Make a conscious effort to note when you’re entering into an argument, and then just stop. Remember, not every argument is worth engaging in — so don’t feel like you have to get into an argument just because someone else is asking for one. “Sorry, I can’t talk about this right now, let’s talk more about this later…” or “You’re right, I’m wrong, I’m sorry” will put a sudden halt to the argument. Which leads us to.

Read More …  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/12/14/5-ways-to-show-you-care/

Marriage wards off blues, just don’t end it: study

Tuesday 15th December  2009

Marriage really is good for you, with a major international study finding it reduces the risks of depression and anxiety, but these disorders are more likely to plague people once the relationship is over.

The study of 34,493 people across 15 countries was led by clinical psychologist Kate Scott from New Zealand’s University of Otago, and is based on the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys conducted over the past decade.

It found that ending marriage through separation, divorce or death is linked to an increased risk of mental health disorders, with women more likely to resort to substance abuse and men more likely to become depressed.

“What makes this investigation unique and more robust is the sample is so large and across so many countries and the fact that we have data not only on depression… but also on anxiety and substance use disorders,” Scott said in a statement.

“In addition, we were able to look at what happens to mental health in marriage, both in comparison with never getting married, and with ending marriage.”

Scott said that the study found that getting married, compared to not getting married, was good for the mental health of both genders, not just women, as previous studies had found.

The study, however, did find that men are less likely to become depressed in their first marriage than women, a factor Scott said was probably linked to the traditional gender roles at home, as other WMH surveys have shown that as women get better educated, depression rates tend to fall.

The other gender difference the study found is that getting married reduces risk of substance use disorders more for women than for men. Scott said this may be explained by the fact that women are usually the primary caregiver for young children.

However, the downside of marriage, the University of Otago study shows, is that ending it has a negative impact on both genders.

“What our study points to is that the marital relationship offers a lot of mental health benefits for both men and women, and that the distress and disruption associated with ending marriage can make people vulnerable to developing mental disorders,” Scott said.

The study was recently published in the British journal Psychological Medicine. It was conducted in association with the World Health Organization, Harvard University and a number of other international organisations.

(Writing by Miral Fahmy, editing by Ron Popeski)

Source:  http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20091215/thl-life-us-marriage-b2e59e8.html

Managing Conflict When Personalities Clash

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on December 10, 2009

Conflict of some form or fashion is an inevitable occurrence in a relationship. A team of Brigham Young University researchers have studied how couples can manage conflict when their personality styles are mismatched.

According to Professors Dean Busby and Thomas Holman different perspectives do not necessarily doom relationship quality.

Information was accumulated from nearly 2,000 couples with the results published in a recent issue of the academic journal Family Process.

“The concern with mismatched couples is that they will have problems that are just never quite resolvable,” Holman said.

“But it’s really about getting to a point where a problem becomes less important to them than the relationship itself.”

The study participants completed a comprehensive relationship inventory called RELATE. The survey covers more than 300 areas known to be predictive of marital quality. Upon completion of the relationship inventory, the couple gets an 11 page report with charts and graphs illustrating the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship.

Just as many couples had mismatched conflict styles as had matching approaches (not counting couples considered to have an openly “hostile” dynamic). Depending on the type of mismatch, the data show that certain pairings present bigger red flags for relationship quality than others.

“There are several couples that work through it,” Busby said. “But we know that how couples manage conflict is one of those crucial factors that can lead to divorce.”

So what are the conflict styles and which one fits your personality? And how can you work through a mismatched pairing?

Read More …  http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/12/10/managing-conflict-when-personalities-clash/10111.html

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