When NOT to be Nice to Your Spouse

Your significant other is having a bad day. The sink is full of dirty dishes and it's his or her turn to wash. So, what do you do?

A. Grab the sponge and wash the dishes in the name of love. They'll notice and be thankful

B. Do nothing, not because you're lazy, but because it won't do any good

If you answer A, you'd be wrong, at least according to a new study by University of Arizona researchers:

Researchers found that individuals who made sacrifices for their significant others generally reported feeling more committed to their partners when they performed those nice behaviors. But when they made sacrifices on days when they had experienced a lot of hassles, they did not feel more committed.

"On days when people were really stressed, when they were really hassled, those sacrifices weren't really beneficial anymore, because it was just one more thing on the plate at that point," Totenhagen said. "If you've already had a really stressful day, and then you come home and you're sacrificing for your partner, it's just one more thing."
"You need to be mindful of the resources that you have to do those sacrifices at the end of the day," she added. "Maybe trying to pile on more sacrifices at the end of a really stressful day isn't the best time."

Read more over at UANews: Link


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I think the survey question is getting the study wrong. It doesn't say you shouldn't make sacrifices for your partner when he or she has had a bad day, but rather that you shouldn't make sacrifices when *you* have had a bad day. Very different interpretation...more like, if you've had a stressful day, you should realize that it's ok to ask for help and get support from your partner. But if your partner is the one with the stressful day, don't press them to make sacrifices for you. (Of course, if you've both had shitty days, I guess you are SOL and the dishes can get done the next day!)
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Wait? What? People actually take turns doing the dishes? Sorry, I wasn't paying attention to the study. I am still stuck on the taking turns thing.
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Caution! The report determines there's no benefit in making a sacrifice when YOU have had a stressful day, which seems like a bit of a no-brainer. But I'd hate for someone's relationship to be ruined by a misinterpretation. "But honey, SCIENCE says I shouldn't do those dishes..."
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