Getting married is viewed as a significant milestone in a couple’s lives aimed at helping them to enjoy more fulfilling and happier lives. An understanding of how to help make marriages work well is therefore greatly appreciated by married couples. The University of Georgia reported, new research shows that gratitude is very important to positive marital outcomes.
Study co-author Ted Futris, who is an associate professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia, says it has been discovered that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse has a high value for you has a direct influence how you feel about your marriage. These positive feelings also influence how committed you are to your marriage and your belief that the marriage will last. In a telephone survey of 468 married people it was found that spousal expressions of gratitude served as the most consistent significant predictor of the quality of the marriage.
The study’s lead author Allen Barton says this research shows the power which is inherent in a simple “thank you.” Barton says that expressions of gratitude in a relationship can assist in promoting positive marital outcomes even if a couple is experiencing distress and troubles in other areas. It was also observed in this study that higher levels of expressions of gratitude from a spouse helped to protect men and women from divorce. Marital commitment in women was also protected from the negative consequences of poor communication during times of conflict.
This study has been published in the journal Personal Relationships. The researchers found that expressions of gratitude and appreciation have the power to counteract or buffer the negative effects when couples are engaging in a negative conflict pattern such as demand and withdrawal. Barton says this is the first study which has documented the protective effect which feeling appreciated by your spouse can have on marriages. This is a very significant consideration which should be highlighted for married couples.