Two simple words have been revealed as the secret to a long lasting and happy marriage, take a guess as to what they are…
According to research by the University of Georgia, a key ingredient to improving couples’ marriages might just be gratitude… and two simple words ‘Thank You’.
The study of 468 married individuals 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.
Couple’s were asked questions about their financial well-being, demand/withdraw communication and expressions of spousal gratitude. The results indicated that expressing gratitude was the best way to improve the quality and happiness of a marriage.
The study’s lead author, Allen Barton said:
“It goes to show the power of ‘thank you. Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes.”
In fact the more times that you say thank you, the less likely your partner is going to want a divorce and expressions of gratitude or appreciation can counter the effects of negative communication – or blazing row.
“This is the first study to document the protective effect that feeling appreciated by your spouse can have for marriages. We think it is quite important as it highlights a practical way couples can help strengthen their marriage, particularly if they are not the most adept communicators in conflict.”
The behavior most likely to have damaging effect on a marriage is being demanding, nagging or critical of your partner. Stress from financial worries is another high contributor to marital problems.
Showing gratitude – or saying thank you’ can interrupt this cycle and help couple overcome negative communication patterns in their relationship.