MOSCOW, December 4 - RIA Novosti. Husbands and wives stop constantly arguing with each other and swearing over trifles only after several decades of living together, when they are replaced by humor and understanding of all the pros and cons of each other. This is the conclusion reached by sociologists who presented their observations in the journal Emotion.
"This finding underscores the importance of positive emotions to our health. It may explain why married men and women, on average, live longer than single older people," says Alice Verstaen of the University of California, Berkeley, USA.
Her research team came to this conclusion, trying to find an answer to a simple question - how do different family members relate to each other, and what typical role fathers, sons, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters and other people play in it, and what emotions they are call each other.
As scientists note, sociologists and evolutionists traditionally pay attention to positive connections that help strengthen the family and make it the "cell of society" that it is considered today, but negative connections that cause discomfort and an acute desire to escape from one of participants in such bonds.
For example, Verstan's team was interested in how often quarrels over various little things and related resentment affect the frequency of divorces and family breakdowns. Today, every second couple of spouses break up in the first two years of marriage, and scandals and quarrels can play a leading role in their breakup.
Sociologists tried to give an accurate answer to this question, observing the behavior of almost a hundred already established married couples, whose halves have lived together for 15 to 35 years. Every five years, scientists invited them to their laboratory and invited them to discuss the problems they faced in their life together and talk about the subject of their last quarrel.
Verstan and her colleagues were interested not only in the subject of their dialogue, but also in what emotions they showed during the conversation, how often they argued and agreed with each other, and how their behavior changed under aggression from the "other half".
These observations, which lasted more than 13 years in total, revealed an interesting phenomenon. On the one hand, young couples were more prone to negative emotions and a very aggressive manner of arguing. On the other hand, this was completely uncommon for spouses who had lived with each other for more than two decades.
Even more interesting, the behavior of the same couples of husbands and wives has changed in a similar way over time. The severity of conflicts weakened, as did the reaction to them, and the level of satisfaction with life and the number of positive emotions gradually increased.
Such patterns, according to scientists, should be taken into account by social workers and officials of relevant ministries responsible for strengthening family values and maintaining the health of "cells of society."