You may think it’s communication. Or sex. Or maybe kids, or not having them. Or money and long vacations. Or patience? Well, all of these things are surely important, but they’re not essential. The latest studies have produced an answer regarding the main ingredient of Happily Ever After, and that is – kindness. If you and your spouse are kind to each other, you’ll have a successful marriage, no matter how many kids, how many cars or how many vacations you spend together.
According to the psychologist Ty Tashiro, who in 2016 published the book The Science of Happily Ever After, only three out of ten married people have happy marriages. That’s less than half of us.
Imagine you come home with heavy grocery bags, and your spouse drools over a BMW saying something like: “Hey, look at that guy’s rims.” How would you react? Would you say something of the kind: “Oh, yeah, they’re really Sci-Fi,” or, “You know I don’t give a darn about rims?” Sure, the first reply is the most recommendable, because what your spouse wants is not your opinion about rims, what he/she wants is to connect with you.
It seems this kind of interaction has a huge impact on happiness in two. Responding to your partner’s emotional needs with genuine interest is what strengthens your bond most. In short, it’s all about how you treat your partner – are you kind or are you dismissive?
I’d love to hear from you guys, so please share your opinion and experiences in a comment. I’m looking forward to reading about you.
For more information, see the original article here (foreign version), but the source of all sources is available for you guys here.
Stay tuned for a new personality test coming soon and, until then, enjoy a great many of them on the Personality Tests page on this site.
11 thoughts on “The secret ingredient of Happily Ever After is …”
It makes sense Ana and I’m guessing kindness finds its roots in a sense of selflessness rather than a selfish attitude to life.
I think so too, dear Gary. I also think true love implies kindness – like I’m naturally kind to my child. Sure I can blow up when he gets on my nerves, but usually being kind is like an instinct. So I can’t really believe someone who’s constantly criticizing and frowning truly loves the person who’s at the receiving end.
Awesome article, Ana. I agree with you and Gary. Selflessness enables kindness and generosity. Active constructive responses and a sense of, “in it together,” instead of “my way or the highway,” make for a tight bond. The other things we desire in a relationship fall into place if the foundation is solid. I think another critical thing is to learn to argue constructively. It’s fine to disagree even get angry. That’s normal and human. How couples deconflict is crucial to how kindness and generosity survives and continues, even grows. Well, that’s my views anyway. But, I did like and appreciate what the researchers did and what they found out. Like the old saying, a little kindness goes a long way.
Dear cuzz, this relates so well to what I’ve observed here in Germany. I see many more old couples than anywhere else, and among other things I observe this: they treat each other so cordially, so respectfully. It seems funny at first, and many would think they’re acting like polite strangers with each other rather than people who’ve been together for ages, but now I begin to understand. THAT’S what kept them together for long. Intimacy was always backed by a special brand of polite reserve, and I think this combination properly implemented can work wonders.
Yes, I think it is kindness, Ana.
I’ve noticed throughout my own life that the only people I’ve generally kept friendships with are those who are kind and generous in heart and spirit.
Yes, and it’s those we remember with most affection and whose presence we crave, it’s so true …
Yes, I always find myself wishing that my dad was still here.
Hi Ana, so very true. My husband and I have been happily married for 23 years and being there for each other is number one. Talking, being kind, supporting each other through life’s ups and downs makes for a happy journey. Lovely post.
That’s so wonderful to read, dear Miriam! I wrote this post with all my heart, so to say, because kindness is so important to me. I try to offer as much as humanly possible and, I admit, I often fish for some myself 🙂
Agree! Sadly around the world, lesser & lesser ….
That’s true. I’ve noticed the most stable couples are kind and often formal to each other, always careful not to hurt each other’s feelings. Sadly, most couples get too comfortable with each other and start treating each other poorly. But that often shows that we’re most comfortable being brash instead of kind, which speaks a lot about who we truly are, I guess… Maybe that’s why they say relationships are a whole lot of work? 🙂