Celebrations! Secret to a happy marriage found | sex and relationships | Hindustan Times
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Celebrations! Secret to a happy marriage found

Just being thankful could be that key ingredient to better marital outcomes. So saying thank you more often can actually improve your marriage.

sex and relationships Updated: Oct 23, 2015 15:17 IST
Feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage.
Feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage.(Shutterstock)

A new study says that if you want a long and successful married life, show appreciation and gratitude at every opportunity to your spouse. So if you weren’t doing the most obvious thing, let us start now.

“We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last,” said study co-author Ted Futris, an associate professor at the University of Georgia in the US.

Also read: Rules of happy marriage: Doing the dishes reduces stress

With the use of a telephone survey, the study asked 468 married individuals questions about their financial well being, demand/withdraw communication and expressions of spousal gratitude.

The results indicated that spousal expression of gratitude was the most consistent significant predictor of marital quality.

Higher levels of spousal gratitude expressions protected men’s and women’s divorce proneness. (Shutterstock)

“It goes to show the power of ‘thank you,’” study’s lead author Allen Barton from the University of Georgia noted.

“Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes,” Barton noted.

The study also found that higher levels of spousal gratitude expressions protected men’s and women’s divorce proneness as well as women’s marital commitment from the negative effects of poor communication during conflict.

“Importantly, we found that when couples are engaging in a negative conflict pattern like demand/withdrawal, expressions of gratitude and appreciation can counteract or buffer the negative effects of this type of interaction on marital stability,” Futris said.

Also read: Secret to a super married life found: Have a second baby!

“This is the first study to document the protective effect that feeling appreciated by your spouse can have for marriages,” Barton said.

The study was published in the journal Personal Relationships.