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Individual Well-Being and Relationship Maintenance at Odds The Unexpected Perils of Maintaining a Relationship With an Aggressive Partner

, : Individual Well-Being and Relationship Maintenance at Odds The Unexpected Perils of Maintaining a Relationship With an Aggressive Partner. Social Psychological and Personality Science 4(6): 676-684

Partner aggression negatively affects well-being in ways that the people experiencing aggression may not expect. Individuals (n = 171) who reported aggression by their current partner completed a longitudinal study. At the start of the study, participants rated their current happiness and how happy they expected to feel if their relationship were to end. The data revealed a partner aggression–unhappiness link and evidence of misforecasting future happiness: Committed individuals overestimated their unhappiness after a breakup because they expected worse things from a breakup than actually materialized, and people who experienced high partner aggression overestimated their unhappiness because they became more happy without the partner than they had expected. Forecasting unhappiness after a breakup predicted staying in an aggressive relationship. In aggressive relationships, bias occurs not only in forecasting future happiness but also in misreading how badly one feels now.


DOI: 10.1177/1948550613480822

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