A new study has revealed if a couple remembers accurately what was going on at each stage of their deepening commitment, they are moving toward marriage over the course of their relationship.
Brian G. Ogolsky, a U of I professor of human development and family studies said that people like to feel that they're making progress as a couple. If they're not-if, in fact, the relationship is in trouble-they may have distorted recollections that help them feel like they're moving forward because they need a psychological justification to stay in the relationship.
The researchers said that one theory was that recollections might be higher across the board because people like to remember the best possible course of their relationships. But, as they looked at couples' actual experiences and compared relationships that were developing in a positive direction with those that were not, they saw that the accuracy of their memories diverged rather sharply. It's fascinating how memory works in couples.
It was found that highly committed people remember their relationship history accurately and that couples in trouble don't and if a couple's relationship is undergoing a slow and painful death, it no longer serves their purpose to remember the course of the romance accurately. To avoid constant disappointment, they misremember how things are going.