Women ‘worry’, men get ‘frustrated’ handling marital problems

Washington D.C., Oct. 27 (ANI): A new study has revealed that when a couple suffers from issues in their marriage, the woman worries and becomes sad, whereas it’s sheer frustration for the man!

Deborah Carr of the Rutgers University said that men often don’t want to express vulnerable emotions, while women were much more comfortable expressing sadness or worry.

She said that for women, getting a lot of support from their spouse was a positive experience, adding that older men, however, might feel frustrated receiving lots of support from their wife, especially if it makes them feel helpless or less competent.

In the study, researchers examined 722 couples, married an average of 39 years, and asked how their marital experience and the reactions of their spouse affected them.

They responded to whether they could open up to their spouse if they needed to talk about their worries, whether their spouse appreciates them, understands the way they feel about things, argues with them, makes them feel tense and gets on their nerves.

The husbands, in the study, who more often rated their marriages positively and reported significantly higher levels of emotional support and lower levels of marital strain than their wives, felt frustrated giving as well as receiving support.

Carr said that frustration was an under-researched emotion that needs to be looked at further.

Carr said that if older men or women with dementia had reduced impulse control, they could lash out against their spouse if they were feeling frustrated, adding it was very important to keep in mind these dynamics even with long married couples who you may not think have any problems.

Carr concluded that there has to be a middle ground between marital suffocation and togetherness, adding that spouses want to feel loved and supported but not trapped.

The study appears in Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. (ANI)

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