The Science of a Happy Marriage - Introduction

The Johnson clan was on vacation at the beach a few weeks ago. While I read a few good books while we were away, I often found myself looking at magazines while sitting at the beach or by the pool.


After the first few days, I had made it through the copies of Newsweek, World, and Relevant that I had brought. During the second half of the week, I found myself looking through some that Jenifer had brought. It started with Southern Living; then People. By Friday, I was happily devouring the June issue of Ladies Home Journal. Please, don’t judge me. I was on vacation.


So anyway, in the course of my magazine consumption, I came across an insightful article that I really felt was worth sharing here. It was written by Tara Parker-Pope and it was called “The Science of a Happy Marriage.”


In it, she shared findings from different studies that confirmed some of the key habits that couples in strong marriages practice. I thought it would be valuable to share the six “strategies” over six days here on the INFO for Families Blog. For each one, I encourage you to evaluate yourself and how you do in that area.


For today, I’ll whet your appetite with the introduction from the article. Tune in tomorrow for more…



Science of a Happy Marriage


In laboratories around the world, researchers are uncovering the secrets to lasting love. Check out six of the most important findings.


The mystery of why some marriages succeed while others fail is something men and women have been trying to sort out for decades. What qualities make some couples more successful at navigating the stormy waters of love while others lose their way? Why are some people happy together while others seem happiest when they’re apart? And is there any way to protect a marriage from the risks of stress, negativity and divorce?


The answers to these questions are found in a surprising place. Far from the therapy couch or self-help gurus, the best insights about love and relationships actually come from the scientific community. Top researchers from universities around the world have devoted their careers to observing how couples interact.


Initially marital scientists focused on the negatives that can sabotage marriage: ways that husbands and wives cope with hard times, conflict and unhappiness. But in recent years they’ve shifted their focus to study the positive interactions that can promote intimacy and forge a stronger bond. Just as a doctor might prescribe blood pressure pills or a daily aspirin to keep your body healthy, marriage science also offers a prescription to boost the health of your relationship.


Taken from the June 2010 issue of Ladies Home Journal magazine. From For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage, by Tara Parker-Pope. Copyright 2010 by Tara Parker-Pope.


Come back tomorrow for insight number one.