Although I am presenting this research about how mindfulness seems to be a great thing in relationships, we have to keep in mind what we can and can’t conclude from this study.
My two guesses for how this works (though there are other options too):
1. Mindfulness leads to more positive/less negative arguing which leads to better relationships.
2. Better relationships lead to more desire to be mindful which lead to more positive/less negative arguing.
There seems to be a link between mindfulness, conflict behaviors, and satisfaction in relationships. However, this can happen a few different ways. It totally makes sense that if you are more mindful, then you are going to remain present and engage with your partner in a thoughtful way, which would lead to more resolution and a happier relationship.
However, it easily could go the other way and we don’t have a definite answer just yet on the most realistic pathway. Good relationships will make you feel secure and trusting, which would allow you to be more mindful rather than defensive which could then lead to better conflict behaviors.
Both options probably are true, but we need more research until we really know the strongest direction and how we can intervene to help struggling relationships.
Citation: Gesell, N., Niklas, F., Schmiedeler, S., & Segerer, R. (2020). Mindfulness and romantic relationship outcomes: the mediating role of conflict resolution styles and closeness. Mindfulness, 11(10), 2314-2324. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01449-9