The adage “Happy wife, happy life” or “Happy spouse, happy house” is probably one you’ve heard. But is there any proof to back up these proverbs?

The quick answer is probably “yes,” as several studies connect the strength of a couple’s marriage to the contentment of each partner individually. In fact, according to study results presented by psychologist Eli Finkel, 57 percent of persons who describe their marriage as “very happy” also describe their overall happiness, compared to only 10 percent of those who describe their marriage as “only quite happy.”

Therefore, it would seem that one’s level of happiness and health are tied to the quality of their marriage. Unfortunately, marriage quality tends to deteriorate over time.

Some couples could continue to be as content as they were on their wedding day or even become happier with time. However, marital quality often deteriorates during the course of a marriage. Numerous extensive and long-term studies that track married couples over many years reveal a distinct and persistent decline in marital quality over time.

Negative-affect reciprocity is one factor in declining relationship quality over time. When one spouse is unhappy or in a poor mood, their partner often reacts with an equal or worse bad mood, which frequently worsens the disagreement. Couples may find it challenging to overcome a downward cycle of negativity when one partner’s charge is met with criticism or disdain, for example.

Couples can utilize emotional reappraisal, or reframe the disagreement in a manner that makes them feel less furious and upset, to arrest the downward spiral of their relationship’s quality. Emotional reappraisal calls for partners to view disagreement from a third-party viewpoint, as an outsider might, rather than from their own point of view.

Source: Psychology Today

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