Practice makes perfect for long-lasting relationships

The strongest predictors for maintaining a healthy, long-lasting relationship are shared, realistic expectations, effective communication, working at the relationship as a life priority, and the ability to manage stress, according to a leading psychologist.

Professor Kim Halford from Griffith University will present the findings in his keynote address at the Australian Psychological Society’s 43rd annual conference, 'Psychology Leading Change,' in Hobart this week.

"Lasting and rewarding relationships require hard work, commitment and dedication. Our research tells us that couples who have shared and realistic expectations experience higher relationship satisfaction," said Professor Kim Halford from Griffith University.

"For example, for couples having their first child, shared and realistic expectations about parenting and household responsibilities predict a much happier adjustment to parenthood."

"The first 10 years of marriage are the highest risk time for marriage break-ups in Australia, with up to three per cent of married couples separating each year. Furthermore, there are assessments available that provide couples with a profile of their relationship strengths and challenges."

Professor Halford said relationship education, which teaches couples the core skills of intimacy, could potentially halve the break-up rate. Particularly for couples with relationship profiles that have a lot of relationship challenges.

"There are many ways for couples to learn key skills that help maintain high levels of relationship satisfaction and prevent future difficulties. Face-to-face workshops, self-directed learning programs, and web-based relationship assessment and learning programs have each been shown to help couples learn these key skills."

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To coordinate an interview with Professor Kim Halford, please contact Elaine Grant on 0412 683 068.