A recent study done by OnePoll.com of 1,000 couples claimed that one secret to a happy marriage is kissing your partner and saying, “I love you” ten times a week.
I agree that’s a nice thing to do, although I hope no one needs to keep count like that. In addition to repeating those words on a regular basis, I suggest adding another word that I read about in a recent article in Men’s Health, “Say This Magic Word for a Successful Marriage.”
Let’s say you go home tonight and tell your husband your boss commended you on that big project you’d been working on for months. Or you tell your wife you finally made that hole in one at the golf course today.
Think about that one word you’d like to hear from your partner when you share some good news or a story about something that is important to you. Does your partner react in a positive way? Does your partner encourage you?
Researchers studied couples as they shared both positive and negative news. They talked about things that happened to them at work or problems with family members. The study team checked back with these couples two months later.
They found that partners who showed enthusiasm and encouragement when a spouse shared good news were the ones that reported to be the happiest.
They found that showing enthusiasm in this situation is actually a better predictor of partners reporting satisfaction in their relationship than being there when the other partner is facing something negative.
So that one word that can strengthen your marriage? Congratulations! Celebrate your spouse’s good news with enthusiasm. Tell your wife how proud you are of her that the boss commended her on her work and that you know how hard she worked on it. Ask her for details on what the boss said.
Tell your husband how fantastic it is that he finally met his goal of getting that hole in one. Ask him to tell you all about it. Listen attentively to his story.
Saying, “I love you” frequently is important in a marriage. Being there for your partner when they are going through a tough time can also strengthen your bond.
Responding enthusiastically and engaging fully in a conversation about achievements and the good news is crucial as well. We all want our spouses to respect us and show us admiration. So remember to congratulate each other for successes, big and small.