Are You Using These Two Words Often in Your Marriage?

Couples that are using these two words often are building a foundation of appreciation and strengthening their marriage at the same time according to a study by the University of Georgia.  What are those two words?  THANK YOU.   

Researchers from UGA surveyed 468 married individuals and asked them several questions regarding their financial well being, demand/withdraw communication and expressions of marital gratitude.   The results of the survey showed that the expression of gratitude was the most consistent significant predictor of marital quality.  


"It goes to show the power of thank you," said the study's lead author Allen Barton.  Barton at the time of the study was a postdoctoral research associate at UGA's Center for Family Research.  "Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes.  

The study findings didn't stop there.  It was also found that higher levels of spousal gratitude expressions protected men's and women's divorce tendency including as well as women's marital commitment from the negative effects of poor communication during conflict.  

"We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage. how committed you are at it and your belief that it will last," said study co-author Ted Futris.  At the time of the study, Futris was the associate professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.  

A few more specific ways that gratitude makes a difference in marriage is:

It Protects Against Divorce 

Affirmation creates a safe/ healthy environment for couples and it creates deeper bonds in marriage. When both individuals in marriage feel appreciated by their spouse, it creates 

It Deepens Intimacy

Couples with deep intimacy don't worry about being vulnerable with each other.  They feel secure with each other including sharing their feelings, emotions and thoughts.  

It Incorporates Teamwork

Like on any sports team, when players feel appreciated for what they bring to the table, it creates a cohesiveness with the players that is needed for team success.  The same concept can be applied to marriage.  

It Enhances Sex

 Mutual appreciation in marriage has the ability to deepen not only emotional bonds but spiritual bonds as well.  This in turn has the ability to create a more satisfying physical connection between the two. 

It Decreases Negative Communication 

When couples express gratitude often with each other, it decreases poor communication that comes in the way of arguments and disagreements. 

"All couples have disagreements and argue," Futris said.  "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 argue and how they treat each other on a daily basis."

Bottom line, gratitude is a huge factor in marriage, especially when it comes to life time success.  When couples can truly appreciate each other it has the ability to create a happy worthy marriage. So, the next time your spouse does something for you,let them know that you are aware by communicating to them your appreciation of their kind and generous act.   It's so worth it!