The majority of marriages fail. Either they end in divorce or survive in dysfunction and unhappiness. Social scientists have been studying what makes a marriage survive since the 70’s when the divorce rates soared to unprecedented highs. Studies began to determine the causes and the impact divorce would have on the children.
Psychologist John Gottman and his wife Julie, were two of the leading researchers, studying thousands of couples to determine why their relationships worked or failed. His “Love Lab”, at the University of Washington, brought couples in to speak about their relationships and those same couples were followed up six years later. They found that the couples whose marriages survived and were happy showed less physical stress during the interviews and that they responded with warmth and affection and a positive manner when their spouse attempted to connect with them. The bottom line was that the one thing that really stood out was that the couples who had happy marriages were kind to each other.
When most people think of being kind they think about doing nice things for someone. Saying thank you and complimenting the other person is also an act of kindness. But the most important was having a generous spirit and assuming that their partner had their best interest at heart. Instead of getting angry about their mate leaving the breakfast dishes in the sink for them to clean up, they automatically assumed that they must have been running late if they left the dishes. It is looking for what your partner is doing right instead of what they have done wrong. With these factors, they were able to predict the success of the couples marriages, six years later, 94% of the time. So if you want to keep your marriage healthy, practice kindness every day. (cc: www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/masters-of-love/372473)