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Couple in trouble?

When a man and a woman fall in love with each other, it speaks loudly through their body language. Love doesn't remain hidden or suppressed for a long time and shows up in one or other form. People start talking about them and different stories are shared or gossiped.
 
Eventually, we come to know that the couple has decided to live with each other together. Knot is tied between both of them and they are officially declared as a married couple publicly by performing some rituals and by giving a feast to the attendees.

Some couples may choose to stay in a short-term, a live-in relationship or an uncommitted 'venture' but still they have to make some adjustments. Relationship between a man and woman is natural and wonderful but it is also filled with many challenges, unforeseen incidents and uncertainties.

Though
every romantic relation has a glorious and rosy beginning, not all stories progress ahead very pleasantly. Every couple experiences rough days, monotonousness or stagnation in their relationship but their mindset determines future of their relationship.
 
Those who give enough time to develop healthy and positive outlook towards each other, survive through rough patches and keep flourishing in unimagined ways. Developing a strong, healthy and respectful bond between two individuals takes a a lot of time..

However, not every person is the same when it comes to have patience, manage negative impulses and guide oneself into a right direction. When many things go beyond peaceful compromise, a couple starts moving into a disappointing stage - separation.
"What exactly went wrong?"
In daily routine, both men and women often get busy with their tasks at hands in such a way that they could hardly pay attention at each other. Traditionally, it’s the woman who starts filling unsafe when enough attention is not paid at her and some fruitful conversation doesn’t take place between a husband and wife. Sometimes, one partner starts drifting away and taking less interest into an existing relationship.

Many people, mostly men, get into a shock after coming to know that their partner is no longer enthusiastic in the relationship they both had set out for. Unlike flashy and telling courtship signs, a man and woman drift away from each other silently. Aren't there any expression, signs or clues, prior to separation?

Expression of Contempt
According to Prof. Dr. John Gottman (a psychologist well known for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction), a telling sign for a couple on verge of separation is not anger and sadness but contempt and disgust.
 
Unlike pair bonding facial expressions, gestures and maneuvers; contempt and disgust convey unconscious disrespect and disliking towards each other. Both emotional expressions silent convey the wish to stay away from each other. Both are distancing emotional expressions.

One partner may not realize that the other is expressing contempt and/or disgust during regular interaction but identifying these alarming emotions on face (and body) can help in saving a troubled relationship. Moreover, contempt and/or disgust are expressed not only by couples in rocking relationship but also by any two persons irrespective of their genders.
Expression of Disgust

Contempt can be a result of suppressed anger and/or heightened social status and desirability level of one or both partners. It can be readily observed in today’s liberal environment that allows both partners to climb professional, social, economical and materialistic heights with many potential partners in sight and in presence at their respective workplaces.

On the other hand, disgust simply means - “I don’t want to or can't stay by your smell”. It’s a state of utter dislike but not disagreement with the other person. Disgust is also related with the signature smell (pheromones) that body of one person produces and the another inhales it unconsciously. Pheromones play a greater role to play in romantic lives.

More often these two expressions are given away by one or both partners during every single face to face interaction and also while discussing about partner with some other person; more there are chances of their separation in (near) future.

Out of these two alarming expressions, women are more likely to express disgust and men are more likely to express contempt on their faces unconsciously. Women too can show contempt like men do.

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1 comment:

  1. This is another great topic Sachchidanand - have you seen the work by La Rosa and Mir on disgust? I would highly recommend that you check theirs out - would love to know the connection you can see between their work and yours in NVB. Seems a good fit. -- Lonny

    Reference
    La Rosa, A. O., & Mir, J. R. (2013). On the relationships between disgust and morality: A critical review. Psicothema, 25(2), 222-226. doi: 10.7334/psicothema2012.159

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