It’s wedding season! I love browsing the greeting card aisles, reading each to find the perfect wedding day expression for friends tying the knot. Most of the options – in some heartfelt way – include wishes for a lifetime of happiness. It’s a fitting wish for newlyweds, but how does it come true?
There has been plenty of research done about strong marriages – and while it may not be romantic to think of it scientifically, it’s worth knowing what’s been proven to keep couples happily united. Below are findings compiled from various studies about what behaviors and attitudes result in long, happy marriages.
- Separate emotionally from the family you grew up in. Certainly continue to nurture relationships with your parents and siblings. However, once married, it is important to develop an identity with your partner that is separate, according to the American Psychological Association.
- Respond to your partner’s triumphs with enthusiasm. Ask questions, congratulate your partner, and show that you’re genuinely happy for their successes, big or small!
- When disagreements happen, continue to express affection. You certainly won’t always agree on everything, but in times of adversity, use humor, affection, and concede on valid points that he or she makes, as reported in this infographic from Happify.
- ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ go a long way. The Gottman Institute found that one of the single greatest predictors of marital longevity is consideration; and a study from the University of Georgia found that those who feel appreciated by their spouse are more likely to feel committed to the marriage.
- Happy wife, happy life. You’ve heard it before, and apparently it’s true. A Rutgers study found that the more content a woman is with her marriage, the happier her husband feels about life in general.
Newlyweds can read more about building a strong marriage here.