Happy Marriages Don’t Just Happen

“Man And Woman Before Question Mark” by renjith krishnan FreeDigitalPhotos.netHave you ever wondered why some marriages appear to be so loving and happy while so many others are not? Yes, choosing an appropriate partner – one who matches your level of commitment, your lifestyle preferences and your values – certainly gives you a head start. But scientific studies have revealed some secret ingredients that help marriages to thrive and without which, you may be in for a lifetime of struggle and frustration and perhaps eventual divorce.

Maressa Brown gathered some impressive research in a short, no-nonsense, simple article that I want to share with you here. 
Please let me know what you think and how these factors have affected your marriage or you most intimate relationship currently or in the past.

10 Science-Proven Facts About Happy Marriages
Posted by Maressa Brown on Feb 2, 2015 at 10:00 AM

“Whether the stats show that divorces are on the rise or decline, the fact is that marriage isn’t something anyone seems to have all figured out! But that hasn’t stopped researchers from investigating what keeps the happiest unions ticking!

Here, 10 scientific facts about the happiest marriages.

  1. Regulating your emotions, as a wife, boosts your chances of bliss.Taking a look at nearly 25 years of data, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, concluded that the happiest marriages were the ones in which wives were able to calm quickly during conflict. In turn, they were able to employ constructive communication strategies — like clearly expressing feelings and suggesting solutions/compromises.
  2. The more sex, the less worry.Even if you or your partner have a tendency to be worrywarts, having an active sex life can boost your satisfaction. In fact, researchpublished in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science noted that neurotic newlyweds who had a lot of sex were as satisfied with their marriages as less neurotic couples. Makes sense: Sex definitely serves as a chill pill!
  3. Your vocabulary matters.In your single days, it may have gotten under your skin when friends would constantly refer to themselves as “we” or “us,” but turns out, when you’re married, using couple-focused words like “we,” “our,” and “us” when discussing a conflict is linked with more affection, less anger, and had lower psychological stress levels during the standoff, according to a study published in the journal Psychology and Aging. Meanwhile, use of words like “I,” “me,” and “you” during a disagreement was linked to marital dissatisfaction.
  4. If your spending habits are compatible, you will be, too.If you’re married to someone who is more concerned about contributing to that 401(K) while you’re thinking in terms of a new pair of designer jeans or tropical vacation, you’re not alone. Most of us tend to pair up with our spending opposite, according to researchers at the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School. But financial opposites have greater conflicts over money and lower marital satisfaction than those whose spending tendencies are similar.
  5. The more you give, the more you get.That is, when it comes to appreciation. In a study of 50 couples, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, those who felt more appreciated by their romantic partners reported actually being more appreciative of their partners. Go figure!
  6. You need a healthy “ratio” to stay afloat.For every one negative feeling or interaction with your spouse, you should have at least five positive feelings or interactions, suggests relationship researcher John Gottman. Negative interactions could be as simple as not showing affection, whereas positive interactions may be as simple as listening to your partner tell you about their day.
  7. The determining factor is friendship.Men may be from Mars and women from Venus, but both sexes agree that the determining factor in whether wives or husbands feel satisfied with the sex, romance, and passion in their marriage is, by 70 percent, the quality of the couple’s friendship, according to Gottman’s Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
  8. Prioritize between-the-sheets time for more joy.In research published in the journal Social Indicators Research, which included 15,386 people who were surveyed between 1993 and 2006, respondents who had sex at least two or three times a month were 33 percent more likely to report a higher level of happiness than those who had no sex during the previous 12 months. And it seems the more you do it, the bigger the benefit: Couples who got it on once a week were 44 percent more likely to report a higher level of happiness, and those who were making love two to three times a week were 55 percent more likely!
  9. The couple that broadens their horizons together, stays together.You don’t have to book a world tour, but getting out and enjoying more novel, arousing experiences together will be a boon for your relationship satisfaction, notes a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
  10. Remember the funny times.If you want to boost your marital joy in a pinch, reminisce about something that had you and your spouse in stitches, notes a study published in the journal Motivation and Emotion. The research found that recalling an event involving “shared laughter” actually has a better relationship satisfaction-boosting effect than remembering any other sort of positive event.

Which of these would you say has the strongest effect on the success of your marriage?”

Photo by  Renjith Krishnan Free DigitalPHotos.net


Please leave a comment below and let me know if you have ever experienced and how your have handled this type of subtle boundary violation and lack of understanding and respect for your position in your personal or business relationships.

If you are not so fulfilled in your relationships, if you would like to create more love and you just don’t know how, and if you can’t help feeling that there’s something more in life, please do yourself a favor and reach out to someone who can help.

CONTACT ME. Together we can help you fix what can be fixed in your relationship and bring back that loving feeling or make new decisions and difficult choices.



Keep checking back to find out more about my upcoming 30 DAY LOVE CHALLENGE.

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Dr. Erica





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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

Latest posts by Dr. Erica Goodstone (see all)

18 thoughts on “Happy Marriages Don’t Just Happen

  1. Hi Erica, great post and some really great points. I have friends who have the most amazing relationships with each other and see to encompass all that you advocate here.

    Enjoy the journey!

    • Mandy,

      It’s great to have friends who have great relationships. That way you have a concept of what it is like and you can more easily choose more wisely for yourself.

      Dr. Erica

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post. I think the information you brought up is easy to relate to. My son and his wife have been married for almost 2 years and they do struggle. I have to remember that at one time I was their age and married and it wasn’t always easy. But they have to be the ones to fix it as I can’t.

    • Becky,

      That is why counseling can be so helpful. Just a few sessions can help each person understand their own needs, desires and expectations and can offer insight into their partner’s needs as well. And they can easily improve their communication, making each one feel heard and understood and loved.


      Dr. Erica

  3. Hello Dr Erica, What an awesome list of proven facts to a happy marriage! This sentence here really got me a laughing “Sex definitely serves as a chill pill!’

    This is my friend is my favorite saying.. HEHE So many wonderful things to think about here. Thanks for sharing… Chery :))

    • Chery,

      Sex as a “chill pill” can be interpreted both ways. For couples that feel passion toward each other, sex can help to “chill” their stress and calm their heated arguments. However, if one or both are not feeling the passion, are feeling turned off and disinterested, being pressured into sexual contact can indeed be “chilling” to the body and the spirit. You need to create the “warm zone” to include enjoyable sexuality in your relationship.


      Dr. Erica

  4. What an excellent and very informative post Dr. Erica!

    And as I read each point, forgive me for desperately trying to over simplify things, but each tip seemed like, if nothing else.

    If you simply erred on the side of common sense and putting (either) your spouse and or significant others current immediate and or long term emotional and or physical needs above your own.

    You will definitely come out far better in the long run! And as best you can, greatly cut down on the I and or me speak!LOL!

    Hey, I realize that’s totally an over simplification, but it’s one of the simplest straight forward ways to show “how” you really do care!

    • Mark,

      You are so right that if we could just put the needs and desires of the other person first, or at least in our line of vision, we can immediately improve our relationships. Problem is, we all too often come into a relationship with an agenda and lots of expectations. And, the other person often wins us over by promising to be or to do or to give us what we are expecting. And then we are deep in the thick of the relationship, do not “get” what we expected, wanted and think we “need,” so we feel disappointed, frustrated, even betrayed. When we do not feel grateful for the presence and caring of this other person, when we feel resentful, angry and as if we got the short end of the stick, it is extremely difficult to put the other person’s needs before our own. But somehow, when we are able to do that, we much more easily can get our own needs met as well.


      Dr. Erica

  5. Dr. Erica, amazing!

    We (Wife and me) find it great to make sure when we agree to learn new things, places and such. Keep an open mind that we may not have the same feelings about the things, places and such. It is OK not to agree.

    I understand it as my 21 years married. We are committed to understand my perception is just that, mine. We go through life together sharing our perceptions with each other. It doesn’t mean right or wrong. That is our key, we are together yet no two people are the same.

    You can not change people. Yet, you can change your perception by your will.

    • William,

      You have hit upon a key issue in most relationships. We cannot change anybody else. We cannot even change our own self most of the time. What we can do is to allow and accept the way it is, who the other person is and who we are. It does help to express your wants and needs as clearly as you can, but it does not help to demand and expect those needs to be met. We have to learn how to care for our self and allow our partner to give what he or she can. And then we can appreciate the unique gifts that they bring to you by just being.


      Dr. Erica

  6. You bring up so many good points here! As I read through them, I realized one that my husband and I could work on more is #9. We have certain activities, such as hiking, that we enjoy doing together, but it’s been a long time since we tried something new or truly different. For example, maybe taking a class together, such as dancing, would be fun!

    • Karen,

      It can be so simple to add a little spark to your relationship by just doing something new and different together, sharing an experience that energizes both of you. And it is important for it to feel like fun, not work or obligation.


      Dr. Erica

  7. Thanks for the powerful post. I like point 9 and 10. My Husband and I enjoy being together and doing big and small activities. Just having fun together and that always closes the gap even after having a disagreement. We are always on separate pages when it comes to finances and spending money.

    • Siphosith,

      It’s not surprising that you disagree on how to spend money. Many couples do. We often tend to choose a partner with an opposite perspective so that together we can learn to balance our finances. But if many other aspects are compatible, that is good.


      Dr. Erica

  8. Hi Erica, after being married 30 years, I think in the last 10 years, we’ve finally started to agree on our spending habits. We were opposite in our spending habits when we got married, and it caused LOTS of arguments. I think what keeps us happiest, is that we still like to have fun and do things together, like scuba diving, travelling and the same kind of music.

    • Julieanne,

      Most of us choose a partner who is opposite in certain ways and very often we differ in the way we earn and spend money. But you hit on something key that research does corroborate. If you can continue to share fun and novel experiences, and even situations that can be a bit dangerous and scary, that continues to add excitement and novelty to your relationship, preventing the sense of boredom and apathy. 30 years and still going strong, how wonderful.


      Dr. Erica

  9. Hi Erica,

    What interesting facts you have put together with scientific research. Number 5 really resonates with me. My husband appreciates so many things I do. He compliments me often and I see the love in his eyes when I’m doing something…anything. I’ve never been treated like this in my entire life until I met him. Actually it took time for me to “accept” the love.
    I appreciate all he does too. It can be him waking me up with a fresh cup of coffee, to doing something in our business.
    When we appreciate each other, it builds a long lasting relationship.

    We are on the same page with just about everything except spending habits. But our communication is great even there. If it is something of a great amount, and we disagree, we can talk through the process and get to the underlying reasons. Somehow we come up with a solution.

    After two horrid marriages, I am grateful that I have chosen my husband. I realized marriage is a commitment that two will share. I thought long and hard before I said “I do”


    • Donna,

      Thank you for always being so open and authentic in your sharing. You said something at the end that so many people overlook when choosing a life partner. Many people do not “think long and hard”. People get married because it appears to be the right time, the other person seems to be caring, they are getting even with their ex- who hurt them, the woman is pregant…. If getting married required as much effort as getting divorced, we would probably see a lot fewer marriages and then perhaps a lot more wise marital partner choices at a later point. So glad you have finally chosen a true partner in life.


      Dr. Erica

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