Simple gestures go a long way in keeping marriages strong


If people want to create long-lasting, mature relationships and marriages, they need to work towards that. The New York Times reports that when people get too comfortable in their relationships, the love that once excited them dies out fast and leaves them feeling helpless — so helpless that the divorce rate in the United States is now half the marriage rate.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, gives a few simple but beneficial tricks to avoid ending what could easily be a love that lasts a lifetime:

Her recommended strategies include making time to be together and talk, truly listening to each other and expressing admiration and affection.

“A pat on the back, a squeeze of the hand, a hug, an arm around the shoulder — the science of touch suggests that it can save a so-so marriage,” Dr. Lyubomirsky writes. “Introducing more (nonsexual) touching and affection on a daily basis will go a long way in rekindling the warmth and tenderness.

Dr. Lyubomirsky reports that happily married couples average five positive verbal and emotional expressions toward one another for every negative expression, but “very unhappy couples display ratios of less than one to one.”

Read more at The New York Times Well Blog.

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