A University of Georgia study has confirmed what many suspected, the key to marital bliss is expressing gratitude.
The study surveyed 468 married people, asking about financial stress, negative communication in the marriage, and how often gratitude was expressed. The results prove that a simple “thank you” can go a long way.
“We 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,” said co-author Ted Futris, who spoke to UGA Today.
Gratitude, which was measured by how much a married individual felt appreciated, valued, and acknowledged by their partner, was proven to interrupt negative communication patterns and prevent divorce.
Allen Barton, the lead author of the study, told the news service that, “even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes.”
The study was the first of its kind to look at the preventative steps spouses can take to protect their relationship. Barton was happy that the study resulted in such a simple solution.
“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.”