Negative people have a better chance of making their marriages last

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Marriage Molly Ringwald

For married people, it's easy to fall into a trap. (Please, no jokes about the trap part coming during the engagement.) You would think the best way to solve your problems or at least get past them would be to look at things optimistically, but that would be a dangerous mistake… if this story is to be believed.

A recent study conducted by James McNulty at the University of Tennessee revealed that couples who force themselves to stay optimistic during a rough marriage are more likely to destroy the relationship than save it. This is contrary to what we have been hearing from marriage counselors for ages. We are told to be patient, forgiving and even forgetful of our partner's mishaps and flaws, but what if the key to a healthy and honest relationship lies in a healthy dose of pessimism instead? Do pessimists really have a better shot at a happy marriage than optimists?

Statistics show that half of all couples who attend therapy fail to overcome their differences…

McNulty… discovered that optimism only pays off when a couple's dreams and hopes translate into reality. When these newlyweds experienced anything but their highest expectations, they suffered extreme and often irrational disappointment… couples who approach marriage with a more pessimistic attitude end up experiencing more success and satisfaction in the long run, since their expectations were low to begin with. [Your Tango]

Well, we're not surprised about that statistic about couples therapy, though that shouldn't discourage you. Of course, maybe the correct term to focus on is "pessimists," which perhaps we should translate to "realists." If you're realistic about what being married can do for you and how "happily ever after" usually only happens to people who are damned lucky, you can make it to age 90 with the same person.