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Daily Experiences and Relationship Well‐Being: The Paradoxical Effects of Relationship Identification

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Journal of Personality

Published online on


Objective Even couples in healthy romantic relationships experience conflict at times. We examine whether relationship identification (the extent to which the relationship is incorporated into the self) predicts immediate reactivity to partner transgressions and also promotes global resilience over time. Method Sixty‐three couples participated in a 2‐week event‐contingent diary study. Results On a daily basis, experiencing more partner transgressions than usual predicted decreases in relationship well‐being and increases in negative affect. This within‐person association was stronger for those high in relationship identification. However, after 2 weeks, changes in global relationship evaluations of low identifiers, but not of high identifiers, were contingent on the accumulation of partner transgressions and the degree of negative affect in response to these daily transgressions. Conclusions This study suggests that internalizing a relationship into the self does not blind intimates to immediate negative events but rather provides a basis for their global relationship evaluations that is not contingent on recent events.