If you’re wondering what the key to a happy marriage is, you might want to ask those with a long and successful history of being happily married. The College of Human Ecology at Cornell University completed what they called “The Legacy Project”, in which they interviewed more than 1,000 older Americans from all socioeconomic and occupational strata about what they felt they had done right and wrong over their lifespan regarding their marriages and relationships.
Similar Ethics and Values
According to the respondents in the study, one key to a happy marriage is when both people are fundamentally similar in temperament, character, and habits. In addition, the couple is most likely to be happy if they share the same values, ethics, and goals. Romantic love may have been what initially brought the couples together, but open communication, strong friendship, a willingness to compromise, and a commitment to the institution of marriage are what have kept most relationships together over the long term.
Putting Family and Marriage before your Career
Parenting can also create stress in a marriage, especially when economic pursuits limit the number of time parents can spend with their children. Most respondents stated that it was far more satisfying emotionally to spend time with their children, even if there was an economic sacrifice to do so, such as losing a promotion.
Not a SINGLE person in a thousand felt that putting the majority of their energy into work was the key to a happy marriage or happy life. Despite most having wanted a satisfying career and monetary success, every respondent felt that over their lifespan it was far more satisfying to spend time with their spouse and families than to burn the midnight oil at work, and if they had to do it over again, they would spend far less time at work.
The Key to a Happy Marriage: Marriage Counseling With a Professional
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