Plenty of stories would lead its audiences to believe that true love lasts forever, but reality can often prove far crueler than that. The mere fact that divorce exists says plenty - and even if it didn’t, there are still staggering rates at which tied knots end up cut into pieces. That’s an unfortunate outcome most would want to avoid, and luckily there are alternatives. As hard to believe as it sounds, keeping a marriage alive could simply come down to giving thanks to a spouse.

It makes sense from a logical standpoint - if not an emotional one - but thanks to recent studies, there may very well be a conclusive link between showing gratitude and maintaining a happy marriage.

Researchers at the University of Georgia conducted a survey over the phone, and gathered data from 468 married individuals. As per the survey’s demands, each participant was asked about their financial well-being, communication, and their expressions of gratitude - the degree of appreciation felt, in this case - to their spouse. The end result of the study was that those who thanked their spouses more often had marriages with the highest overall quality - though that still doesn’t devalue the other two factors. Itsimply makes gratitude that much more important.

To Love and to Cherish

Inevitably, money and the problems associated with it have had an impact on marriages - those in the study and beyond, without question.

The university’s research noted that financial stress led to marriages where spouses acted more defensive, and openly criticized one another on a frequent basis. That, in turn, could lead to harsher, less desirable communication - or alternatively, no communication at all. As a result, a bad situation would only get worse.

Despite that, gratitude proved itself as the saving grace. Giving thanks allowed for positive communication, and prevented every discussion between spouses to head toward issues like the family finances. More importantly, the researchers reasoned that the frequency of fights ultimately doesn’t matter in the long run; maintaining a healthy relationship largely requires good treatment on a regular basis.

Gratitude is one way to maintain that treatment, no matter how vicious the arguments can get between lovers.

One can argue that it shouldn’t take a scientific study to prove the importance of giving thanks and treating a spouse well. But since the proof is here regardless, perhaps that’s knowledge every couple, young or old, should take to heart.

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