How Do You Create a Happy Marriage?

If you want to know how to have a meaningful, fulfilling marriage, you might want to ask those with a long and successful history of being happily married. The happy marriageCollege of Human Ecology at Cornell University recent 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, a life-long, satisfying marriage is most likely 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. Initially, romantic love tended to be what brought the couples together, but open communication, strong friendship, a willingness to compromise, and a commitment to the institution of marriage are what 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 amount 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 road to happiness in either life or marriage. 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 it to do over again, then would spend far less time at work.

Jennifer De Francisco, MPA, MSW, LCSW is a Newport Beach marriage counselor who also works in the Irvine and Orange County areas, specializing in relationships, anxiety, and depression.

Please call (949) 251-8797 for an appointment.

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