Relationship Strengthening

(Excerpt from ghostwritten psychology essay on relationships)

Have you ever seen a couple and wondered if they were happy?  Have you ever seen a couple and was able to tell right away they weren’t happy?  Or have you not been able to tell?  Have you seen an elderly couple and wondered what their secret was for having a long successful relationship?  There have been times where I looked at couples and I wondered if they were truly happy.  Some couples you can tell and others not so much.  I, myself, have been in unhappy relationships but I chose to stay.  I liked being comfortable.  I liked always having someone there for me.  Generally, I liked knowing that there was someone, who wanted to be with me.  Nonetheless, I never really thought about what would make me a better partner until I read the article “When ‘For Better or for Worse’ Gets Real.”

Grant Hilary Brenner wrote the very intriguing article called “When ‘For Better or for Worse’ Gets Real” which explores the connection between couples who are distressed or satisfied. For the first portion of this article, Brenner explains that in order to be successful in all aspects of our lives, including relationships, we need to believe that we are capable of such success. According to Brenner, couples who “experience a greater sense of self-efficacy—or belief in themselves as a pair, they enjoy greater relationship satisfaction and commitment.” Brenner also states how couples can achieve this satisfaction. “In particular, partners can help other partners perform better by providing a specific form of support called esteem support.”  Sometimes, when people enter relationships, they don’t fully understand what goes into it.  A lot of time, effort and support goes into making a successful relationship.  This quote helps partners better understand what they can do to strengthen their relationship.

Brenner then goes on to explain that while esteem support is very much needed to have a successful relationship, couples need to be in the right state of mind to accomplish this.  “Providing esteem support is easier when couples have positive feelings toward one another and their relationship is secure and satisfying. When relationships are not going smoothly, it is harder to muster up warm, optimistic initiatives to support one another” (Brenner).  This is quote is relevant because there are times where people think as long as they are friendly to their partner then things are fine.  If they’re not fighting or acting malicious then they’re on a good path, right? No, this quote shows that relationships go far more in-depth than we realize.

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