Before we can even begin to evaluate the worth of a good relationship, it’s important to understand what’s at stake.
The answers aren’t always clear in the near term.
But we’ve learned a few things over time.
If you want to know how valuable a good relationship is, the Harvard Study is a great resource.
It started in 1938, is still going on, included only men (Harvard wasn’t coed at the time) and now includes wives, children and grandchildren.
- Close relationships keep us happy over time; significantly more so than money or fame.
- Relationships and how happy we are in them has a powerful effect on our health.
- Loneliness kills and is as dangerous to our health as smoking and alcoholism.
We also know relationships don’t have to be perfect. Couples can bicker and fuss at each other day in and day out.
The determining factor in a good relationship is, “When the going gets tough, will I be able to count on you?”
When the answer is yes, all that fussing doesn’t take much of a toll.
If the answer is no… or uncertain… it’s corrosive to our physical and emotional well-being.
We’ve learned some things in recent studies too.
Couple distress increases the risk of behavioral and academic difficulties in children.
And women who feel securely attached to their partners, are happier and less depressed.
Maybe…. what we need to do first, is consider the cost of a bad relationship.