The Secrets of Happy Couples

What does it take to create – and keep – a marriage healthy? What are the secrets to  a truly happy relationship?”

One of the most critical connection points between spouses is shared faith. When this spiritual dimension exists in a marriage, couples are able to tap into a power beyond their own to work through selfishness, sexual temptation, and other issues that so frequently complicate marriage and evaporate those happy feelings.

But what besides that key spiritual element can improve the happiness of your marriage? Check out the following, based on psychological studies and  findings from the Pew Research Center.

Happy Couple Radio

  • 5:1— Happy couples have of positive interactions to every negative one.
  • 0.8:1  — Couples who ultimately divorced have just 0.8 happy encounters for every negative interaction

The determining factor in whether couples feel satisfied with the sex, romance and passion, is by 70% the quality of their friendship with each other.

The Happy Couple Ratio

Happy Couples Talk More

People in the most successful marriages spend 5 more hours a week being together and talking.

Cultivate Positive Interactions Every Day

  • Give a compliment
  • Show your appreciate for something big (or  small)
  • Relive a fun memory
  • Do something nice for them

In the Bedroom

  • Make time for intimacy
  • More Sex = More Joy
  • The once-a-week boost: having sex once a week make people 44% more likely to have positive feelings
Marriage happiness in the bedroom

How do you Respond to Triumphs?

When it comes to strengthening your relationship, studies show the most crucial factor is how you celebrate your partner’s good news.

  • They show enthusiasm
  • They ask questions
  • They congratulate their partner
  • They relive the experience with them

Share an Experience Together

Couples who spend new experiences together report feeling more loving and supportive towards one another, and more satisfied with their marriages.

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  • Go for an evening walk
  • Dine at a new restaurant
  • Explore a place you’ve never been
  • Cook together
  • Go to a concert
Marriage share an experience

The Michelangelo Effect

Couples in the happiest relationships bring out the best in each other. They help each other get close to their ideal selves.

Remember the Time we Cracked up Over …

In one study, couples who were asked to recall a moment that involved shared laughter reported being more satisfied in their relationship.

What’s Your Fighting Style?

When happy couples fight, they tend to defuse the situation

  • Showing humor
  • Expressing affection
  • Conceding on certain points their partner makes

Unhappy couples tend to do the following when they fight

  • Criticize
  • Show contempt
  • Roll their eyes
  • Act defensively
  • Resort to name calling
  • Tune out
Marriage fighting style

Marriage and Happiness

Based on a 20 year study, the people happiest with their marriages

  • Have been married 5 years or less
  • Don’t have children
  • Have college degrees
  • The man’s employed
  • A happy marriage is worth an additional $105,000 a year in terms of life satisfaction
  • Experiencing the death of a spouse is like losing $308,780 a year
  • Think positive! Couples who can put a positive spin on their marriages have a 94% chance os a happy future together

How do Kids Impact a Couple’s Happiness?

  • 33% feel just as satisfied (or more satisfied as before)
  • 67% experience a big drop in marital satisfaction
  • Married couples are unhappiest when their kids are in pre-school
  • Couple’s happiness levels increase again once their youngest kid has grown up.
Download the FREE Marriage Happiness Infographic


  • Pew Research Center
  • The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • The Myths of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • The Normal Bar by Pepper Schwartz and Chrisianna Northrup
  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman
  • Understanding Society Project / UK Economic and Social Research Council
  • What Predicts Divorce: The Relationship Between Marital Processes and Marital Outcomes by John M. Gottman
  • Drigatas, S.M. et al. (1999) Close partner as sculptor of the ideal self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  • Gabel, S.L. et al. (2004) What do you do when things go right? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  • Meltzerm A.L. Mcnulty, J.K., et at. (2013) Sex differences in their implications of partner physical attractiveness for the trajectory of marital satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  • Bazzini, D.G.. Stack, E.P., Martinicin, P.D., & Davis, C. (2007) Remember when we…?

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