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Only 30% Of Marriages Are Healthy

Only 30% Of Marriages Are Healthy

healthy marriages

Relationship experts say healthy marriages only account for 30%. Is your’s one?

As Valentine’s Day approaches, you may be encouraged to know love can even prevent real-life heart problems.

People in healthy marriages are at lower risk for heart or blood vessel problems, couples data from the 20-year U.S. Marital Instability Over the Life Course study tells us.

A spouse’s support and encouragement may encourage people to eat better, exercise more or simply be more blissful. Even those with high cholesterol or diabetes benefit from being married.

*We have family lawyers in Ottawa, Toronto, and Duncan BC. Please let us know which location is closer when you contact us.

How do long-surviving couples stay in love?

Marital stability springs from being kind and generous, Seattle therapist Dr. John Gottman believes. Instead of zeroing in on a partner’s mistakes, happy couples find moments of gratitude.

They also make “bids” for attention, such as inviting a partner to admire their efforts. Successful couples accept these bids, while those who don’t turn away and ignore their partner more often.  The University of Washington “Love Lab” founder discovered happy couples responded favorably to bids about 87 per cent of the time.

Physiology also plays a part. Gottman reports a 2003 Ohio State University experiment found newlyweds with the highest adrenaline levels while arguing were less likely to be happily married 10 years later (John Gottman and Julie Gottman, “The Natural Principles of Love” (2017) 9 J Fam Theory Rev 7 12).

Gottman’s theories support what psychiatrist Dr. William Glasser and Choice Theory instructor Carleen Glasser have to say in Eight Lessons for a Happier Marriage.

They recommend seven caring habits for couples:

  1. Supporting your partner through difficult times.
  2. Encouraging your partner to succeed.
  3. Listening, the “most asked for and least given” habit.
  4. Accepting your partner as they are.
  5. Trusting your partner enough to tell the truth without hurting them.
  6. Respecting your partner by focusing on the things you respect in each other.
  7. And negotiating differences by giving up something to get something.

New York psychologist Ty Tashiro is on board with the Gottmans and Glassers. Author of The Science of Happily Ever After, Tashiro insists that kindness or “agreeableness” matters. Kind partners “care more about your perspective and are more likely to understand your perspective,” Tashiro told Business Insider. “They will trust that they can give freely and that, in the long run, you will give equally back.”

What Do Kind Partners Do?

Kind partners “care more about your perspective and are more likely to understand your perspective,” Tashiro told Business Insider. “They will trust that they can give freely and that, in the long run, you will give equally back.”

healthy marriagesTaking in gratitude is so important couples are advised to “amplify” it by Romance and Research workshop presenters and Happy Together authors Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and James O. Pawelski. Savoring and luxuriating in the richness of gratitude can make your partner feel good about their gift to you.

This Valentine’s, and every day, think about how kindness, generosity and gratitude can make not only your relationship, but your life, healthier and happier.

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Healthy Marriages

Same-sex couples have a different experience.

Although their health care benefits increased after marriage, most reported their health itself hadn’t changed, according to a U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research study.

Researchers for the Vanderbilt University LGBT Policy Lab used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for 2000 to 2016, when same-sex marriages became legal.

Lead researcher and policy lab director Christopher Carpenter told LifeSiteNews (“Same-sex ‘marriage’ doesn’t improve LGBT health: Study”) it is too early to say if outcomes improve over time.

Read more: How To File For Divorce In Ontario

Healthy marriages are hard to create. If your relationship is not going the way you hoped, ClearWay Law family lawyers can help you mediate a resolution.

Love, marital therapists advise, can even prevent real-life heart problems. Married couples are at lower risk for heart or blood vessel problems, couples data from the 20-year U.S. Marital Instability Over the Life Course study tells us. A spouse’s support and encouragement may encourage people to eat better, exercise more or simply be more blissful. Even those with high cholesterol or diabetes benefit from being married.

That’s not to say their findings apply to everyone. Same-sex couples had quite a different experience. Although their health care benefits increased after marriage, most reported their health itself hadn’t changed, according to a U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research study. Researchers for the Vanderbilt University LGBT Policy Lab used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for 2000 to 2016, when same-sex marriages became legal. Lead researcher and policy lab director Christopher Carpenter told LifeSiteNews (“Same-sex ‘marriage’ doesn’t improve LGBT health: Study”) it is too early to say if outcomes improve over time.

How do long-surviving couples stay in love?

Marital stability springs from being kind and generous, Seattle therapist Dr. John Gottman believes. Instead of zeroing in on a partner’s mistakes, happy couples find moments of gratitude. They also make “bids” for attention, such as inviting a partner to admire their efforts. Successful couples accept these bids, while those who don’t, turn away and ignore their partner more often. The University of Washington “Love Lab” founder discovered happy couples responded favorably to bids about 87 per cent of the time.

Physiology also plays a part. Gottman reports a 2003 Ohio State University experiment found newlyweds with the highest adrenaline levels while arguing were less likely to be happily married 10 years later. To read more about physiology and love, see John Gottman and Julie Gottman, “The Natural Principles of Love”, in The Journal of Family Theory & Review (2017).

Taking in gratitude is so important couples are advised to “amplify” it by Romance and Research workshop presenters and Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts authors Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and James O. Pawelski. Savoring and luxuriating in the richness of gratitude can make your partner feel good about their gift to you.

Among other traits that make you stand out, positive psychology is about possessing the capacity for love. In a recent Philidelphia Enquirer interview, James Pawelski explains, “When you see the good in the other person’s character, that inspires you to want to support them — and to want to be a better person yourself.” Loving relationships take skill and practice, the Pawelskis advise.

But what if love is more than that?

Unlike fleeting passion, love lights up the part of the brain related to caring and empathy. Psychologist Melanie Greenberg, author of 10 Research-Based Truths About People in Love in Psychology Today (Nov. 19, 2013), is reassuring about increasing your capacity for love throughout your life. Her research and that of others shows practising mindfulness and compassion meditations can “increase activity in brain centers connected with empathy and positive emotions.”

Mindfulness meditation is so powerful it builds the physical density of protective tissue (or myelin) in your brain, while also improving your mental health. University of Oregon researchers Yi-Yuan Tang and Michael Posner discovered this when they found integrative body-mind training (IBMT), a form of meditation adapted from Chinese traditional medicine in the 1990s, creates more connections in the brain. And that can lead to more positive thinking, as well as lowered heart rate, deeper belly breathing and less anxiety. They report results in just under a month of practicing IBMT, which balances the mind, body and environment.

By now, it’s obvious being better at loving others can work wonders.

Cocaine Is Addictive

One reason for that is because the pleasure centres of the brain associated with addictive behaviours like cocaine use also “fire” during a romantic attraction. “Think of it as that initial feeling of falling in love, when you want to constantly be around the other person, almost in an addictive way,” Saint Louis University associate professor Brian Boutwell suggests (Just slip out the back, Jack: We’re wired to get over romantic break ups,March 25, 2015 news release).

As Medical Daily writer Lizette Borelli points out in The Break-Up (March 30, 2015), “If love is like a drug, then we should focus on how to make it last for as long as we can.” Licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Athena Staik appears to agree. “Genuine love is self-replenishing,” she adds in her March 28, 2019 Neuroscience & Relationships blog.

As you start every day, think about how kindness, generosity and gratitude can make not only your relationship but your life healthier and happier.

If your relationship is not going the way you hoped, ClearWay Law family lawyers can help you mediate a resolution. Call us at 844-466-6529 or email info (at) clearwaylaw.com.

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