Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top tips for a happy marriage

A recently published research (Tempting fate or inviting happiness?) shows that spouses who idealise their partner are more likely to have a happy marriage (at least in the first three years). So love is blind and we'd better leave it this way?

Psychologists, social scientists and marital specialists have been trying to identify ingredients of a perfect couple, happy marriage or successful relationship.
The most popular one are those of John M. Gottman on predictors of divorce and David Olson's Enrich inventory which helped identify a list of top ten strenghts of a happy couple.

photo by photostock

What are the key attributes of happy couples according to these studies?
How to achieve happiness in your relationship?

1. Good communication - happy couples exchange ideas, feelings, news, beliefs, they share problems - all that in a polite, respectful and appreciative manner. They listen to one another, try to understand and be understood

2. Ability to adjust to change - happy couples are creative in ways they resolve conflicts or address problems.

3. Good balance of togetherness and separateness - happy couples do things together and spend quality time together, but also allow for periods of time to self.

4. Constructive resolution of conflict - when criticising, happy couples don't generalise ('You always do this', or 'You never say that'); they attack the problem not the person, they don't withdraw from the interaction.

5. Agreement in financial matters - happy couples agree on how to handle money.

6. Satisfying sexual life - happy couples' sexual life is a s good as their emotional life; they give and receive satisfying amount of affection and they don't worry that their partners may want to have an affair.

7. Shared values - happy couples share values and spiritual beliefs.

8. Shared parental responsibilities and agreement on child rearing methods.

Here you can find more information on the qualities of successful marriages.

What do you think is important for a couple to have a satisfying relationship? What are your tips for a happy marriage?


  1. My husband and I have been married for almost 25 years. We have the "sanctuary agreement", which means that home is to be the place where we can always come and be loved, respected, supported, not judged. Life outside of home is harsh enough (for all of us)-- we both need to be able to come home every day and have 'sanctuary'.


  2. "SAnctuary agreement" is a fantastic idea, Allie - it conveys the gist of what 'home' should be about: a plce where you come to be loved, respected and supported, as you say, a safe haven in any storm.
    Chapeaux bas to the two of you for keeping your relationship this way for 25 years :))