Every married couple knows that certain behaviors – like cheating - are deal breakers. But research shows that 3 behaviors we believe are bad for our relationships can actually be good for them:
- First up: Maintaining a separate group of friends. Relationship expert Andrea Syrtash says that successful couples have interests, hobbies and friends outside of marriage, because outside interests promote individual happiness. And happy people make lasting couples.
- The 2nd bad behavior that’s actually good surprises a lot of people: It’s okay to argue - a lot. Couples therapist Gail Saltz believes that arguing builds trust because it shows you can disagree and still love one another. Of course, you have to avoid damaging behaviors, like name calling, and you have to stay on topic. For example, if you think your spouse is slacking on their chores, deal with that, because bringing up past issues – like the time they forgot your anniversary – will only lead to resentment. If the forgotten anniversary is a problem – deal with it at the time, and then let it go.
- And the final bad behavior that can be good for a marriage: Having an “office spouse.”
Dr. Susan Heitler is the founder of the website PowerOfTwoMarriae.com. And she says that your spouse’s career may require them to work closely with someone you may see as a threat. How can that be good for a marriage? Because it gives you the opportunity to tell your partner about your concerns, and set boundaries for your relationship. Like that they can only meet with their coworker in business settings.
And if you’re the one with an office spouse – make sure anything you do or say, you’d be comfortable doing and saying in front of your REAL spouse.