A happy marriage depends on a couple’s attitude A happy marriage depends on a couple’s attitude

Couples who have been married and have lived together for over 20 years report being happier than when they first got married and experience higher levels of mutual appreciation, closeness and joy.

A researcher from the University of Pennsylvania and a researcher from Brigham Young University came to this conclusion after a study that followed more than 1,600 couples from 1980 to 2000. By analyzing this large group for two decades, they discovered something that many other studies had not due to how short they were: how marriages change over a long period of time. “The majority of studies tend to assume that the quality of the relationship deteriorates over time in most couples,” the researchers state.

In this study, however, they found thatAs the years pass, the divide widens between couples that divorce and the couples that are stable.” This distance occurs because the couples that maintained their bond learned to commit to each other, resolve conflicts, negotiate their differences and accept the idiosyncrasies of their partner. “When they do these things, the relationship becomes more harmonious,” they state. Couples that decide to separate, on the other hand, get into arguments easily, feel like the other is trying to hurt them all the time, are jealous and critical, avoid talking to each other and occasionally have extramarital affairs.

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This conclusion therefore changes the long-standing stereotype that has been the foundation of previous studies: that after marriage, it all goes downhill. According to this study, it is difficult to predict which couples will be successful, but for those who stay together, it is likely that they have a commitment to the bond they have created and to caring for each other. The prospects for them to persevere are positive: a life that is full of joyful interactions and that is nearly argument-free.