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Study shows support for marriage issues frustrates men

It is common for men to find it difficult to accept their inevitable dependency on others as they get older. For women, while the love and support of others and their spouse may be helpful and appreciated, many men don't necessarily see it that way. According to a new study, not only is this the case with couples as they get older, but it may also be the case during times of marital difficulty.

A social science journal just published the findings of a study conducted at Rutgers University, showing how married men and women perceive spousal support during marriage difficulties. According to the study, married women reported feeling a higher level of sadness and worry during times of marriage strain but also reported feeling better when receiving emotional support from their husbands. In contrast, married men did not reportedly feel the same level of worry or sadness during marriage strain but admitted to feeling frustration when receiving or providing emotional support to their spouses.

These findings were believed to be directly related to the age of participants. Of the 772 couples surveyed, the median length of marriage was 39 years. Researchers noticed that the increased level of frustration felt by married men when receiving or providing spousal support increased as their age did. The reported frustration level was solely characteristic of couples where one spouse was 60 years old or older.

While this study was done without regard to each couple's consideration of divorce, it may suggest that for older couples a collaborative approach to divorce may not be a good option. If older married men have a difficult time providing or receiving emotional support during marriage conflict, then they may be less responsive to the collaborative method of law.

Source: Medical News Today, "Emotional support through marital problems frustrates husbands, study finds," Nov. 1, 2015

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