Men and women deal with relationship problems differently. Relationship problems are a completely normal thing that all couples face. More recently, however, scientists have discovered that each partner reacts differently to these problems. That is, men have one reaction to what is happening, women have another.
To confirm these words, scientists from Pennsylvania conducted a small study. It involved 140 couples, where each woman was pregnant. The researchers explained that their choice fell on such couples, since quarrels often arise between partners during pregnancy.
The researchers took saliva samples from each of the partners in a couple to determine its cortisol (stress hormone). They took a saliva sample at the time of verbal skirmishes, when cortisol is released into the body. After analyzing the samples, the scientists found that in men, the reaction to stress is more obvious than in their pregnant women.
Men and women deal with relationship problems differently.
“Hostile attitudes and negativity, as we have seen, have a serious impact on the mental health of partners and their well-being in the future,” said Mark Feinberg, professor of research at the Pennsylvania Research Center. “It is also important to understand how relationship conflict affects stress during pregnancy, because maternal stress is associated not only with the problems of a woman, but also of her child,” Feinberg added.
During the study, future parents were recorded on videotape. Each pair had to participate in two six-minute videos. In the first video, they were supposed to talk about abstract topics that did not concern their relationship. In the second video, they had to discuss any three problems in their relationship. After recording each video, the researchers took saliva samples from the participants to track changes in cortisol levels.
Who recovers from stress faster?
Then, half an hour later, the researchers took a saliva sample again to determine if the stress hormone levels in the participants’ bodies had dropped to see how quickly they bounced back after an argument. As it turned out, men take longer to bounce back than women – their cortisol levels return to normal a little later.
“We got some unexpected results, as it was assumed that women need more time to bounce back,” Feinberg added. “Probably, the results turned out to be such, because often women act as the initiators of the scandal. In a way, they are already mentally prepared for them, and men are taken by surprise.