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修复婚姻,你需要这些“爱的花招”

更新时间:2017-9-27 12:06:35 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Try These ‘Love Hacks’ to Fix Your Marriage
修复婚姻,你需要这些“爱的花招”

After studying thousands of couples, the psychologist Eli Finkel has an explanation for the decline in people’s satisfaction with their marriages over the past four decades: It’s a matter of emotional supply and demand.

经过对数千对夫妇的研究,心理学家伊莱·芬克尔(Eli Finkel)解释了为什么过去四十年来人们对婚姻的满意度在下降:这是一个情感供应和需求问题。

Many people are looking to their partners to replace the companionship and emotional support once provided by extended families and local institutions like churches, bowling leagues, bridge groups, fraternal lodges and garden clubs. Meanwhile, though, many couples are so busy with their jobs and parenting that they’re actually spending less time together by themselves.

许多人对婚姻的期待是,曾经由大家族和教会、保龄球联赛、桥牌小组、兄弟会和园艺俱乐部等本地机构提供的联谊与情感支持,现在可以由他们的伴侣取代。然而,与此同时,许多夫妇要忙于工作和育儿,在一起的时间反而变少了。

What to do? Unless you’re willing to reduce your demands, the only solution is to increase the supply. You can devote a lot more effort to satisfying your partner, and Dr. Finkel tells you how to do that in his new book, “The All-or-Nothing Marriage.”

怎么办?唯一的对策是增加供应,除非你愿意削减需求。你可以加倍努力去满足你的伴侣,对此芬克尔在他的新书《非成即败的婚姻》(The All-or-Nothing Marriage)中介绍了具体做法。

But if that sounds like too much work, he also offers a few shortcuts that he calls “love hacks.” If your schedule doesn’t allow a weekly date night, if you don’t want to take long walks on the beach or go on joint self-actualization vacations, you can use some quick fixes that have been tested successfully in Dr. Finkel’s relationships laboratory at Northwestern and elsewhere.

不过,如果你觉得这太麻烦,他还给出了一些称为“爱的花招”的捷径。如果你在时间上做不到每周拿出一晚的约会时间,如果你不想花很长时间在沙滩上漫步,或者和对方一起进行自我实现性的度假,你可以利用一些简便的弥补措施,芬克尔在自己的西北大学情感关系实验室以及其他地方已经验证了这些办法的有效性。

A love hack, as Dr. Finkel defines it, is a proven technique that takes little time or effort and doesn’t even require cooperation from your partner. “It’s a quick-and-dirty option that can take just a few minutes a month,” he says. “It’s not going to give you a great marriage, but it can certainly improve things. After all, simply allowing the relationship to slip off the priority list will probably yield stagnation, or worse.”

按照芬克尔的定义,所谓“爱的花招”就是一种不需要花很多时间或精力、甚至不需要伴侣配合的可靠技巧。“每个月花几分钟就能办到的一种投机取巧的方法,”他说。“用这个换不来一桩杰出的婚姻,但做一些改善是没问题的。说到底,单单只是任由情感关系的优先级往下降,都有可能导致发展的停滞,甚至更糟。”

He offers a variety of love hacks because he doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions for relationships. He suggests picking whichever hack appeals and starting right away.

他给出了各种爱的花招,因为他不相信情感关系存在万金油式的解决方案。他建议选择自己感兴趣的花招,立即开始实施。

Touch Your Partner

触碰你的伴侣

Holding hands can win you points even when you don’t mean it, as demonstrated in an experiment with couples who watched a video together. Some people were instructed not to touch their partners during the video, while others were told to touch in a “warm, comfortable and positive way.”

拉手是加分的,即便你并不是真心想拉手,这一点通过让夫妇一起看一段视频的实验得到了证明。其中一些人得到的指令是不要在看视频时触碰伴侣,另一些人则被要求以一种“温暖、舒适和积极的方式”去触碰对方。

Afterward, the people who had been touched reported being more confident of being loved by their partner — and this effect occurred even when the people knew that their partners’ actions were being directed by the researchers. Their rational selves knew that the hand-holding wasn’t a spontaneous gesture of affection, but it made them feel better anyway.

接下来,被触碰的人表现出对伴侣的爱有更多信心——即便知道伴侣是在研究人员指示下行动,也会产生这种效果。他们的理性自我知道,拉手并非一种出于喜爱的自发举动,但还是能让他们感觉更好一些。

Don’t Jump to Bad Conclusions

不要急于下糟糕的结论

If your partner does something wrong, like not returning a phone call, don’t over-interpret it. Researchers have found that one of the biggest differences between happy and unhappy couples is their “attributional style” in explaining a partner’s offense.

如果你的伴侣做了错事,比如没有回电话,不要过度解读。研究人员发现,幸福与不幸福夫妇之间的最大不同在于,他们在解释一个伴侣的过错时所采用的“归因方式”。

The unhappy couples tend to automatically attribute something like an unreturned phone call to a permanent inner flaw in the partner (“He’s too selfish to care about me”) rather than a temporary external situation, like an unusually busy day at work. When something goes wrong, before drawing any conclusions about your partner, take a few seconds to consider an alternative explanation that puts the blame elsewhere.

面对未回电之类的问题,不幸福的夫妇往往直接将之归咎为伴侣的某种永久性的内在缺陷。(“他太自私了,不关心我”)而不是暂时性的外部情况,比如今天的工作格外忙。遇到问题时不要急于对伴侣下结论,花上几秒时间想一想,有没有另一种解释可以说明问题在别的地方。

Picture a Fight From the Outside

从外人的视角想象一场争吵

In an experiment with 120 married couples in Chicago, Dr. Finkel periodically asked questions about their marriages over the course of two years. During the first year, their satisfaction with their marriages declined, which unfortunately is typical.

芬克尔在芝加哥进行了一场涉及120对夫妻的实验,他在两年时间里定期就他们的婚姻状况提问。在第一年里,他们对婚姻的满意度下降了,不幸的是这种现象很常见。

At the start of the second year, some of the couples were instructed to try something new when they found themselves in an argument: “Think about this disagreement with your partner from the perspective of a neutral third party who wants the best for all involved; a person who see things from a neutral point of view. How might this person think about the disagreement? How might he or she find the good that could come from it?”

进入第二年时,实验对其中一些夫妻做出要求,要他们在出现争执时尝试一个新的做法:“从第三方中立视角来看待你和伴侣的争执,这个人希望看到的是皆大欢喜的场面,一个用中立的眼光看事情的人。这个人会怎么看这场争执呢?他或她从中能看到什么好的东西?”

Again, that little exercise made a big difference. Over the next year, marital satisfaction remained stable in those couples, whereas it continued to decline in the control group that hadn’t been instructed to take the third-party perspective.

这个小小的练习再一次带来了重大变化。第二年里,这样做的夫妻的婚姻满意度保持稳定,而没有被要求选择第三方视角的那一组夫妻,满意度在继续下降。

Make a Gratitude List

列一份感恩清单

Once a week, write down a few things your partner has done to “invest in the relationship,” as the participants in one experiment were instructed to do. Other participants were instructed to list things they had done themselves to invest in the relationship. The ones who patted themselves on the back subsequently felt a little more committed to the relationship, but the ones who wrote about their partners’ contributions felt significantly more committed — and also, not surprisingly, a lot more grateful toward their partners.

有一项实验要求参与者每周写下伴侣为“感情投资”做的几件事。其他参与者被要求列出他们本人为感情投资做过的事。自我表扬的人后来感觉自己对恋情更投入了,而那些写下伴侣贡献的人则感觉自己比以前投入了很多,而且毫不意外地更加感激伴侣。

Accept a Compliment

接受赞美

One of the most common factors in failed marriages is the “rejection sensitivity” of one partner. People with low self-esteem have a hard time believing their partner really loves them, so they often preemptively discount their partner’s affection in order to avoid being hurt by the expected rejection. Eventually, even when they start off with a loving partner, their worst fear comes true because their defensive behavior ends up driving the other person away.

婚姻失败的一个最常见因素是有一方“特别害怕被拒绝”。自尊心较低的人很难相信伴侣真的爱自己,所以他们经常先否认伴侣的爱意,以避免被预期中的拒绝伤害。结果,就算他们遇到了一位充满爱意的伴侣,他们最大的担心也会变成现实,因为他们的防御行为最终会疏远对方。

In testing ways to counteract this anxiety, researchers asked insecure people to recall a specific compliment from their partner. Giving a detailed account of the situation and the compliment didn’t have any effect, apparently because these insecure people could dismiss it as a lucky aberration: “For once I did something right.”

研究者在试验消除这种焦虑的方法时要求缺乏安全感的一方回忆伴侣的一次具体的赞美。详细描述当时的情况和相关赞美之辞没有产生任何效果,这似乎是因为缺乏安全感的人会把那次赞美当成幸运的反常情况:“我终于把事情做对了一次。”

But there was a notable effect when people were asked to think about the compliment abstractly: “Explain why your partner admired you. Describe what it meant to you and its significance for your relationship.” That quick exercise helped them see why their partner could really care for them.

但是,当研究者要求参与者概括地回想伴侣的赞美时,效果非常显著:“解释一下为什么你的伴侣仰慕你。讲述一下这对你的意义,以及对你们恋情的重要性。”那项快速练习帮助他们领悟到为什么伴侣真的是在乎他们。

Celebrate Small Victories

庆祝小小的胜利

When your partner tells you about something that went right in his or her day, get excited about it. Ask questions so your partner can tell you more about the event and relive it. Put some enthusiasm into your voice and your reactions. Researchers call this a “capitalization attempt.”

当伴侣告诉你一天中的一件进展顺利的事时,为他/她感到兴奋。问一些问题,让伴侣告诉你更多关于那件事的情况,使之重现一遍。在你的声音和反应中加入热情。研究者称之为“将收益变现的尝试”。

When researchers studied couples who were trained to use these techniques in their evening discussions, it turned out that each partner took more pleasure from their own victories, and both partners ended up feeling closer to each other. By sharing the joy, everyone came out ahead — and in true love-hack fashion, it didn’t take much time at all.

研究者在调查那些被培训在夜间谈话中使用这些技巧的情侣时发现,双方都从自己的胜利中获得了更多快乐,双方都感觉与对方更亲密了。通过分享这种快乐,每个人都获得了益处,而且从地道的爱的花招的角度讲,这根本花不了太多时间。

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