A recent study by researchers at the University 0f Georgia has revealed that showing gratitude and believing that your partner values you, directly influences how you behave in your marriage.
For the study, researchers asked 468 married individuals questions about their financial well-being, demand/withdraw communication and expressions of spousal gratitude. The results suggested that spousal expression of gratitude was the most consistent significant predictor of marital quality.
Lead author Allen Barton said, "It goes to show the power of 'thank you'. Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes."
The researchers also observed that higher levels of spousal gratitude expressions protected men's and women's divorce proneness as well as women's marital commitment from the negative effects of poor communication during conflict.
Co-author Ted Futris said, "The researchers found that when couples are engaging in a negative conflict pattern like demand/withdrawal, expressions of gratitude and appreciation can counteract or buffer the negative effects of this type of interaction on marital stability. All couples have disagreements and argue and when couples are stressed, they are likely to have more arguments. What distinguishes the marriages that last from those that don't is not how often they argue, but how they argue and how they treat each other on a daily basis."
The study is published in Personal Relationships.