This sounds like a study that points to women being in the driver’s seat in marriage by “reacting” well to conflicts they’re having with a husband. I’m not sure if it reflects internalized stereotypes in women, or if it reflects the importance of communication skills and emotion-processing in women.
Both, I imagine. But the study makes me bristle, just a bit.
Results show that the link between the wives’ ability to control emotions and higher marital satisfaction was most evident when women used “constructive communication” to temper disagreements….
When wives discuss problems and suggest solutions, it helps couples deal with conflicts,” said UC Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson, senior author of the study. “Ironically, this may not work so well for husbands, who wives often criticize for leaping into problem-solving mode too quickly.”
This finding deserves more attention:
…the husbands’ emotional regulation had little or no bearing on long-term marital satisfaction.
And, of the 80 middle-aged and older heterosexual couples’ interactions that were examined, were all those marriages “happy” in the first place? (Who were they, and why did they agree to have their disagreements videotaped?)
I need to read this study in full.. comes out in the journal Emotion, and its November issue is not yet online.