A spouse is generally referred to as the primary social supporter for an individual, who may pretty often fail to realise when their partner is going through stressful situations, thereby failing to help.
“We found that when it comes to the normal ebb and flow of daily emotions, couples aren’t picking up on those occasional changes in ‘soft negative’ emotions like sadness or feeling down,” said Chrystyna Kouros, who works an associate professor at the Southern Methodist University in the US.
A negative mood is not really related to the relationship. However, it ultimately can be harmful to a couple – said Kouros, who works as the lead author on the study published in the journal Family Process.
“Failing to pick up on negative feelings one or two days is not a big deal. But if this accumulates, then down the road it could become a problem for the relationship,” she said.
“It’s these missed opportunities to be offering support or talking it out that can compound over time to negatively affect a relationship,” said Kouros.
The finding remains absolutely the same and has always consistently shown that couples tend to assume that their partner feels the exact same way they do, or think the same way they do, Kouros said.
Well, when it comes to sadness and loneliness, couples usually need to be on the look-out for tell-tale signs. Therapy is not the cure of the above-mentioned problem, said Kouros.
Well, she simply advises couples to absolutely stop assuming they know whatever their partner is feeling and try to communicate more than usual. That is the key to solve the problem.
Assumptions can only make things worse.
“I suggest couples put a little more effort into paying attention to their partner – be more mindful and in the moment when you are with your partner,” she said.
Let’s face it: Your partner is not a mind-reader, right? Expecting them to know what you are feeling can only lead to false expectations and failure, which of course, can lead to disastrous results.
“If there’s something you want to talk about, then communicate that. It’s a two-way street,” she said.
There were 51 participating couples who completed daily diaries about how they feel, their mood and how they think their partner is failing for seven consecutive nights.
The study veers from conventional approaches to the topic, which have relied on interviewing couples in a lab setting about feelings related to conflicts in their relationship.
The deal however, is simple: assume less, talk more. And you’ll be good to go.