Scientific Tips for a Healthy Marriage

Scientists and researchers are adding to the pool of advice for a successful marriage.

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Anyone and everyone seems to think they are qualified to be giving marriage advice, from licensed therapists to online bloggers. Now, scientists can be added to the mix. New scientific evidence has provided six tips for a healthy and successful marriage.

1. Marry a similar spender

While opposites tend to attract, couples should proceed with caution if their partner has different spending habits. People who are frugal with their money often either take advantage of generous spenders, or become frustrated with their reckless spending habits. Similarly, big spenders can become upset when their partner doesn't want to spend money on items that they believe to be frivolous. A University of Michigan study of more than 1,000 married and unmarried adults found that the greater the financial spending, the greater the conflicts amid couples.

2. Don't neglect the bedroom

According to Michelle Russell and James McNulty of the University of Tennessee, neurotic tendencies and negative marital relationships are linked to low frequency of sex. Even if the sex isn't good at the beginning of marriage, studies show that men in their 50s are more satisfied with their sex lives than men in their 30s and 40s.

3. Be polite and acknowledge your partner

Researchers from Arizona State University found that individuals who felt appreciated by their partners had less resentment over any imbalance in labor, and more satisfaction with their relationships as a whole. Also, using words like “we” and “us” rather than “you” or “me” showed more affection.

4. Exercise patience and tolerance

Astudy carried out by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research surveyed 800 people about negative feelings toward different members of their family. Spouses and partners took the top slot, with negative feelings increasing over time.

5. Stand up for yourself

University of Tennessee psychologist James McNulty has found that placing blame and other negative exchanges can motivate partners to change. Although forgiveness is key to keeping marriages alive, it should not always be exercised. Couples should understand that there is a time, place and reason to stand up for yourself.

6. Work hard at your marriage

True love may be able to stand the test of time, but it will need some TLC. In a study published in the journal Review of General Psychology, researchers surveyed members of marriages of various durations, to find that romantic love endured when both members of a couple worked hard at resolving conflicts.

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