Interracial dating and marriage challenges
What is surprising for many couples, though, is the unexpected vulnerability of their initial powerful attachment.
On average their relationships last about half as long as those with the more secure style.If you don't have good approaches to managing your differences, your disagreements will take a toll over time.Conflict can raise your level of negativity and undermine mutuality.But now that couples postpone marriage and often live together, it is common for passion to subside--often well before the wedding or soon thereafter.Nature intends our initial, temporary falling-in-love bonding period to be replaced by a longer-term attachment between partners--with a totally different underlying brain chemistry (based on oxytocin and vasopressin).They also tend toward defensiveness and blame and have difficulty getting their needs met.
In addition to any bonding challenges posed by these attachment patterns from childhood, there are many realities of modern life that disrupt our longer-term attachments (even though they interfere less with the earlier phases of our relationships): Every couple has 5 - 7 unresolvable differences, so there's a lot to disagree about once you start thinking about getting married.
[Fisher, et al, 2002]But, some of us find it easier to form and maintain these long-term bonds.
According to researchers, different attachment styles rooted in early experiences with parents play an important role in bonding: Most of us have what the experts call a secure attachment style based on a comfortable balance of closeness and independence in their intimate relationships.
So what can couples do to avoid the seemingly inevitable slide toward greater disengagement? But for most couples, it doesn't happen on its own.
You have to plan and strategize to keep your bond strong. Marriage research has revealed that happy couples have at least five positive interactions for every negative one.
Couples report that "the spark is gone," or that while they still love each other, they are no longer "in love" or have "grown apart."Some couples think that starting a family together will reinforce their bond. They may stay together because of their kids, but their tie to each other is actually diluted as their attachment to their children displaces their connection to each other.