In committed relationships, it is normal for each person to hold their own interests and hobbies that might differ from their partner’s enjoyments. This can either serve the partnership positively by maintaining individuality, or it can hinder the success of it by driving the two away from one another. For cannabis users, being with someone who does not partake in the consumption of the substance might be an area of stress. It could interfere with each of their daily routines or even signify fundamental lifestyle differences. However, a recent study conducted by Rutgers University and Mount Holyoke College, might have found evidence that cannabis users could be harming their own relationships by being unaware of their unsustainable dynamics and could potentially be oblivious to their unsuccessful conflict solving methods.
Jessica Salvatore outlines the relationship functions which the research looked at: “how satisfied and committed people felt about their relationship, their behavior and physiology during a laboratory-based conflict interaction, and their perceptions about their conflict discussion and relationship afterwards.” The study itself was conducted through surveying and interviewing 145 couples (in which at least one partner was a cannabis user) and embarking professional assessments of these conversations and data.
Through this research, it was found that partners who used cannabis showed less capacity to respond to stress within their relationship. Additionally, these individuals “issued more criticism and demands, avoided conflict during the discussion, and were less able to reorient themselves to a discussion about the positive aspects of their relationship” (Rutgers University). Interestingly enough, these cannabis users also reported contentment with their conflict resolution and did not notice their use of avoidance or demand strategies.
While the use of cannabis could potentially be an area of different lifestyles between committed partners, it could also hinder the relationship’s success through emotional distance. Taking this research into consideration, it might be beneficial to couples struggling with these dynamics in their relationships to consider cannabis use as a factor.
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