Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it’s also a serious commitment - and apparently researchers have uncovered the key to making it work long-term.
Researchers gathered information from 57 couples in their 30s, who had married for an average of nine years, as well as 64 couples in their 70s who were married for 42 years.
The couples were asked to rank marriage ‘issues’ including intimacy, health and money, in order of how serious they thought each one was.
They found that all the couples argued, but subjects tended to focus on ‘easy’ problems such as household chores and how to spend their free time, instead of relationship issues that they’d consider to be more serious in nature.
According to the study, couples from both groups rated jealousy, religion and family as their ‘least serious issues’ when it came to relationships.
However, topics considered to be more ‘serious’ such as health and physical intimacy were generally avoided when it came to marital arguments, to avoid further conflict.
Professor Amy Rauer, study lead, said: ‘Since these issues tend to be more difficult to resolve, they are more likely to lead to less marital happiness or the dissolution of the relationship.’
She has advised younger married couples to make sure they resolve easier problems, so that they’re able to tackle more difficult issues when they arise. This level of communication should increase the chance of the relationship working out.
She added: ‘Being able to successfully differentiate between issues that need to be resolved versus those that can be laid aside for now may be one of the keys to a long-lasting, happy relationship.’
It might not surprise you that communication appears to be key to making a marriage work long-term. Based on this study, arguing in a relationship is normal, but you need to make sure you’re able to communicate your problems well.