The science of a happy marriage

Turns out – being kind to one another – IS the secret to a happy marriage.

Humanism encourages us to see other people through the lens of compassion.  Other humans are real, they feel joy and pain just like we do. So, Humanism teaches us to think of them as real and fragile and deserving of our respect and compassion.

Which is all well and good, but not everyone is nice and not everyone respects us back.  And when they don’t, we feel stressed and ill at ease and always on our guard.

It turns out that whether or not you feel safe and secure is a huge predictor of marital success. (see this article on the topic:

So – what should you look for?  Someone who doesn’t make you feel nervous - obviously. According the article – they could predict marital disaster based on physiological response to the proximity to a partner.

The other big predictor is apparently how often you turn towards your partner. When your partner asks you for attention, do you give it? Happily – or not.  

Meeting your partner’s emotional needs for connectedness means – accepting their bids for attention and giving them your attention, most of the time.

So, if you have a pretty good marriage but want to make sure it works – realize it takes two and you have to do your part.  Meet your partner half way. Look for the positive things they do. Pay attention to them when they reach out for your attention in small ways and most of all – be kind to them.

If they are incapable of reciprocating your kindness, that tells you whether they are worth your continued attention or not.

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