One notion that gained popularity in the works of singers like Mariah Carey, is that there is absolutely no problem with being open with your heart and there is no wrong in mourning a relationship that has come to an end. That is simply because the person who left will come back at the end of the day and that would signify that the relationship was meant to be.
However, in contemporary times that might not be a totally acceptable view. The results of a study recently published in Family Relations indicate the this kind of inconsistent and unstable relationship has harmful effects on the mental health of individuals.
Transition in relationship isn’t an easy feat for virtually everyone. The research cited by the authors of the studies showed that the statistics ranges between 30% to 50% for young people who have been in a sort of cycle in their present relationship. It also found that about one quarter of the married young adults reported that they had gotten back together following a brief period of separation.
If that number is compared with those who do not have any such history of ending and reconciling and ending the relationship again, it will be seen that the unstable relationships have ties with higher verbal abuse, violence, and poorer communication. It also has links with lower levels of commitment and satisfaction.
Reports of Studies
To get a more detailed understanding of this kind of relationship and the manner by which they have effects on different categories of individuals, the researchers analyzed data obtained from 545 participants in different-sex and same-sex relationships.
The participants were required to keep track of how often they had symptoms of anxiety and depression over a period of two weeks. They were also expected to indicate if there was a cycling history in the course of their relationship, and also indicate how frequent they had ended the relationship and continued it with that particular person. Same-sex partners were asked about some additional sensors such as whether they had faced victimization or rejection owing to their particular sexual orientation.
- The findings of the study revealed that about one-third of the participants admitted that they had experienced relationship cycling and some reported it occurred even up to 8 times. The record was obtained among both gay and straight participants. It didn’t come as a surprise that the people who indicated the existence of relationship cycling also reportedly had higher psychological distress.
Analysis of Findings
The authors of the study explained that transitioning out of one relationship not only affects one’s adjustments psychologically but the process of transition into another one without deep deliberation or dedication to ensuring the continuity of the relationship can have a distressing effect.
The authors also highlighted that transitions tend to breed uncertainty about what would likely become of that relationship in the future. That uncertainty has links with symptoms of depression and may be instrumental in the connection between the quality of a relationship and the mental health of the partners to the relationship.
In essence, the findings of the study act as a vital warning to individuals. The study recommends that if a person and the current partner are looking to get married but are still waffling, there is a reduced likelihood they will get married as a result of that instability. They noted that while it is possible for married couples to go through divorce or separation and subsequent renewal, such reconciliations are more likely not to last for long. They added that several of those who reconcile end up getting separated even within the first couple of years after the reconciliation.
The study’s lead author, Kale Monk, said that the findings suggest that those who realize that they are in a relationship where there are constantly ending things with their partners and reconciling again need to examine their relationship and determine what the particular issues are.
According to the assistant professor, if partners maintain honesty about this relationship pattern, they will be able to take the required steps in maintaining the relationship or safely bringing it to an end. Doing that is very important for the preservation of the individuals mental health and well being in general. According to him, there is nothing wrong with exiting a relationship that is toxic.