Have you ever wondered if there is as science behind a happy marriage. I invite Kayla Brent on to share with us some of her research.
Here’s what she has to say-
For a long time, science was silent on the subject of marital bliss. But recently, given the importance of marriage in our society, more and more researchers have been investigating the topic. The Holy Grail of the research is to find out what makes a marriage successful. What do people need to do to make a marriage work? Here’s what the science has to say on the subject.
Celebrate Good News
According to marriage expert, Tara Parker-Pope, couples should make a habit of celebrating good news. Research, she says, has shown that partners who regularly celebrate good news have higher levels of marital commitment, trust and relationship satisfaction.
This finding makes a lot of sense, especially in the context of other findings from general happiness research. It turns out that people who are more grateful about their situation also tend to be those that are happiest, and so it would make sense that the results would carry over to marital situations too.
Parker-Pope says that it’s important for spouses to celebrate each other’s accomplishments and to make a fuss over them – even the small things. Doing this everyday, she says, can help to improve your happiness and commitment to each other.
Use The Five-To-One Ratio
The five-to-one ratio is a ratio that describes the number of positive interactions in your relationship relative to the number of negative ones. Researchers at the University of Washington found that relationships in which there were five positive interactions for each negative one tended to be very successful. However, as that ratio fell, marriages were at a higher and higher risk of ending.
In real life, couples don’t keep tallies like researchers. Avoiding regular negative interactions should be a priority in your relationship. Aim for less than 10 percent of your interactions to be negative and emphasize the positive. If you are negative, then the researchers suggest that you make up for it with positive interactions so that the overall ratio doesn’t fall below five to one.
Keep Your Standards High
Expectations, it turns out, have a massive impact on the success of a marriage. According to relationship expert Dr. Baucom, those who have high expectations of their marriages, whether it be about the amount of romance, communication or good treatment, wind up getting that type of marriage.
Spouses who have low standards in relationships have poor communication and low romance. Thus, if you want to have a more satisfying relationship, it’s a good idea to expect more from it.
Keep Friends And Family In The Loop
Some couples get together and then nobody hears from them again. It turns out, according to science, that this is a bad idea for the long term health of the relationship. Dr. Coontz thinks that couples who are always together and not around other people are opening themselves up to difficulties.
This is because they put all their emotional burdens on each other with spreading them around the rest of their relationships. It turns out that the happiest couples, according to her research, are those who offload on other people, besides their spouses.
Don’t worry, she says, about intimacy. It’s entirely possible to retain intimacy with a spouse, even if they’re sharing their problems with other people. In fact, sharing the load with other people can help with intimacy in the long run by preventing exhaustion.
Couples shouldn’t strive to have “pleasant” experiences: they should plan to have more excitement. Science has found that couples who go on regular exciting dates report more relationship satisfaction than those who just go on “pleasant” dates. In other words, the science is telling us something that we all already know: it’s important to keep switching things up in relationships to make them more exciting.
Protect your marriage by trying new things with your spouse on a regular basis. Having new experiences will give you new things to talk about and plan.