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What Makes a Marriage Last Long (According to Science)

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Having a successful marriage takes effort and intention. Learn how to make your marriage last with these tips backed by science!

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Science – what would the world look like without it? It made Mars exploration possible, got rid of pandemics, and even found out how to make a marriage last. 

You may have already swooned at romantic movies, fairy tales, and books where people seem so in love with each other. 

Unsurprisingly, this can translate in real life. 

Millions of married couples worldwide continue to be so smitten with each other despite spending decades together.

In fact, those who marry today have a higher chance of staying together than ever before. With divorce rates reducing, married couples now have a 50% to 60% chance of staying together.

So what’s the secret to a long (and happy) marriage? More importantly, how do married couples maintain and strengthen their bond as years go by?

In this article, we’ll look at how you can do this through science-backed tips.

What Makes a Marriage Last Long

The secret of a successful marriage isn’t so mysterious after all.

I’ve gathered the top factors that make a marriage last long, backed by science.

Adjusting your mindset

If you want to make your marriage last long, be optimistic. One study found that looking at the bright side of things allows people to deal with relationship problems and conflicts better.

Here’s how you can apply this tip. 

Imagine you’re talking to your partner about a difficult topic. A rosy approach to the matter will keep you from feeling frustrated or annoyed. 

Even if you experience problems with your partner, you’ll be less likely to ruminate over the tough stuff. Instead, you can adopt a problem-solving approach.

Thinking of your partner

Unsurprisingly, putting your partner as your priority and being more in tune with their desires is another secret to making your marriage last long, according to a 2020 study

It also increases positive feelings and your relationship quality.

When you constantly think about how you can make your partner happy and how to improve their well-being, they will feel your love more.

So how can you apply this tip in real life? It’s easy! 

For example, plan a date while keeping your partner’s preferences in mind. If they like Japanese food, you can schedule a reservation in a Japanese restaurant.

Don’t get too caught up with Social Media

Another study has proven that people who compulsively use social media platforms such as Facebook have a higher chance of jeopardizing their relationships. This may be due to the availability of alternative relationships they can form online.

Not only that, but when you’re consistently on social media, you can’t help but compare your relationship with others. 

The thing is, social media has become a part of our lives. It’s tough to cut these platforms out entirely. The key to using it wisely is to monitor or limit your time on it.

Getting some sleep

The key to a happy marriage is in the bedroom – but not for any hanky panky. Instead, head there for sleep. 

One study has proven that when people get enough sleep, they become more satisfied with their partner.

This makes sense, considering people become more stressed and irritated when they lack sleep. Sleep can also lower the stress hormone cortisol levels, making people less prone to anger and conflict.

Sharing chores together

Although most people don’t associate chores with sexy time, you’ll be surprised at how this can improve your marriage and make it last.

Research proves that shared housework is a critical determinant in a long marriage. According to the Journal of Marriage and Family, couples who do chores together have more sex than those who don’t, particularly 6.8 times per month.

The ultimate tip regarding chore sharing is to let go of gender roles. Let your skills and preferences dictate your assigned house chores. 

If there’s a chore both of you hate, take it as an opportunity to do it together to promote fairness.

Don’t stress about your appearance too much

Have you observed weight gain from your friends who are in a healthy relationship? Well, this didn’t happen by chance. Science backs this up.

In a study that involved 169 couples, it was found that people who were happy in their relationship gained weight. 

Considering this, don’t stress too much if you gain a muffin top! After all, you’ve already attracted your lifelong mate.

Of course, this tip doesn’t mean you have to neglect your personal appearance totally. 

As long as you keep yourself healthy through exercise and a balanced diet.

Appreciating your partner

In a study involving more than 11,000 couples, it was discovered that how you see your partner makes a huge difference in your relationship’s success. 

For example, people who view their partner as committed to their relationship and those who appreciate their partner’s love are likelier to be happy.

Sometimes, you may assume that your partner already feels how grateful you are for their presence in your life. However, it’s always better to be vocal about it. 

That said, don’t hesitate to drop compliments and say thank you to your partner. If they cooked dinner for you, tell them how much you appreciate it.

Laughing together

Various studies by Professor Jeffrey Hall from the University of Kansas over the last 30 years proved that humor is integral to building a successful relationship. 

In many ways, laughter builds security between two people. When you laugh together, it means you’re creating positive memories.

Not only that, but it also improves self-esteem and boosts your immunity by increasing the levels of anti-inflammatory hormones in your body.

Signs That You Are in A Healthy & Happy Marriage

Not sure if you’re in a healthy marriage? Check out these signs below and see if you relate to them. If yes, then it means your relationship is for keeps.

You trust them wholeheartedly

It’s true what they say that marriages are built on trust. If you can trust your partner and rely on them, you are definitely on the right track. 

Trusting your partner also means you are emotionally secure and don’t feel the need to control them.

You can be yourself

In a healthy relationship, you can be yourself without fearing being judged. 

If you can be yourself around your partner, it means you are certain that they love you unconditionally, including your flaws.

You consistently communicate

This point doesn’t mean you have to text or be in contact with your partner 24/7. It simply means you can talk about anything and everything with your partner. 

You are in a healthy relationship if you can share your problems and concerns with the love of your life and you feel safe to do so.

You’re having fun

It’s a myth that the fun ends after dating. In fact, you should be having more fun after you get married. 

Always remember that a healthy marriage doesn’t feel like a job.

You still have hobbies

In a healthy relationship, both partners respect each other’s hobbies. 

They do not feel threatened if their partner wants to do something that only interests them in their free time.

Your small fights don’t spiral into big ones

A healthy marriage doesn’t mean you never fight. In fact, it means you’re OK with disagreeing with each other. However, your minor disagreements don’t turn into big fights.

You feel supported

This sign means that you never feel like you’re carrying the whole load of your marriage. 

Your partner should be there to support you no matter what you are going through. This can be with your house chores or even taking care of your children.

You can allow yourself to be vulnerable

Being married means you’re fine with being in a vulnerable position. 

You’re letting them see you on your worst days, and you’re willing to open up everything about yourself.  

Your Marriage’s Success Relies On Effort

Now that you know the secret to a long marriage, you can start applying it right away. You’ll see a gradual improvement that will eventually transform your relationship into one you and your partner can be proud of.


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Sebastian Klein is the founder of RelationshipsAdvice.co. He loves writing insanely practical guides based on scientific studies to help couples and individuals create the relationship they want. After a tough breakup, he started studying relationship dynamics to help people get from the “What should I do?” to “How to do it.” If you want to get in touch with him, visit his blog.