Mar 11, 2024

Marriage

The secret ingredients to a happier marriage

Marriage - it’s a journey filled with highs, lows, and everything in between. And recent findings suggest that tying the knot might be the key to happiness.


Today, we’ll review the Gallup and the Institute for Family Studies claim that being married increases well-being in U.S. adults.


The happiness connection: What the data says


What’s the magic formula for a happily ever after? The folks at Gallup had calls  with over 2.6 million adults between 2008 and 2023 to understand trends between marital status and happiness.


Using a survey technique called the Cantril ladder - a fancy way of measuring how happy folks feel about their lives now and how hopeful they are for the future - they had interesting findings. Turns out, married people, especially those between 25 and 50 years old, tend to be happier than both their single counterparts and their partnered but not married counterparts. 


And get this - even when researchers factored in things like education, income, politics, and religion, being married still came out on top. 




The scoop on a great marriage


So, what sets apart the couples who stick together through thick and thin? According to Christina Eller, a therapist who knows a thing or two about keeping the flame alive, it all boils down to six key characteristics. Here’s the scoop.

1. Know your partner well and validate them


Think of this as knowing your partner like the back of your hand. When you understand their quirks, dreams, and fears, you’re better equipped to be there for them when they need you. It’s all about creating a safe space where they can be themselves without any judgment. 


The happiest couples validate one another, which means not only do they listen to each other, but they also show they truly understand why they feel the way they do.


2. “Turn toward” each other


Picture this: you’re chatting with your partner, and they’re not just listening—they’re really hearing you. Their phone is out of sight, they’re looking at you, showing empathy in their gaze, and nodding in agreement.


That’s what “turning toward” each other is all about. It’s showing genuine interest in what your partner has to say and making them feel valued. Bonus points for calming body language and validating their feelings.


According to the Gottman Institute, happy couples are turning toward their partners 20 times more than distressed couples.


3. Pay attention to those “bids”


Have you ever noticed your partner dropping hints or asking for a little love and attention? These ‘bids for connection’ help keep a marriage healthy and engaged. 


The Gottman Institute found that happy couples who make it long-term are ace at picking up on these subtle cues. They’re not texting or scrolling Tik-Tok when their partner’s talking–they’re all ears and ready to engage.


The happiest couples also respond with curiosity and enthusiasm for each other’s bids for connection. That can range from anything from trying out a new TV show together, joining in for a hike, or joking together over a cup of coffee over breakfast.


4. Resolve conflicts fairly and with respect


Here’s the deal—every couple argues. But the ones who last know how to kiss and make up. They take a breather when things get heated, then come back together to sort things out. It’s all about being vulnerable, understanding each other, and finding common ground.


Eller says, “The ability to repair is so important…Vulnerability helps with emotional connection and trust building. It helps with intimacy in our relationships, and that can make our partners feel recognized and appreciated.


5. Know yourself and how to find zen


Yep, it’s essential to know yourself inside and out for a happy marriage. When you understand your triggers and what makes you tick, you can communicate better with your partner. 


Plus, taking care of yourself—whether it’s a solo hike or a night out with friends—can give your marriage the energy boost and positive vibes it needs to flourish.


6. Understand there will be bumps


Long-standing couples recognize that it’s impossible to have harmony 24/7. Not only that, they use the challenges in their marriage and life as learning experiences. And they look for solutions on how to improve their relationship and friendship through all the bumps and curves in the road.


To help get through the bumps and make their relationship last, strong couples take the time to actively listen to each other's perspectives, find common ground, and agree on solutions. They also practice empathy by trying to understand their partner’s perspective. Showing understanding and support can strengthen bonds and increase balance.


The happiest couples also make a conscious effort to prioritize quality time together when times get tough, whether it's through date nights, shared hobbies, or simply spending time talking and enjoying each other's company. Laughter and love are powerful antidotes to life's challenges, so sprinkle them generously throughout your journey together.


A recipe for a happy future in marriage


So, there you have it—six tips to unlocking a happier, healthier marriage. Remember, it’s not about being perfect. Nothing in life or love is perfect. Instead, it’s about being there for each other through the ups and downs.


Whether you’re already hitched or dreaming of tying the knot one day, use these insights to help you build a love that lasts.


And who knows? With a little patience, understanding, and a whole lot of love, you might just find yourself living happily ever after. Cheers to that!

While you’re at it, improve your finances together with Plenty


Since you’re now well on your way to marital bliss, let us help you improve your finances too.


We are an investment platform designed specifically for couples to build wealth, together. We go beyond budgeting, making it simple to invest, save and grow towards your future goals by unlocking access to the financial strategies of the wealthy. Ready to get started? Sign up for your free trial today.

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This information is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute investment advice or any other kind of professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. Before taking action based on any such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not endorse any third parties referenced within the article. Market and economic views are subject to change without notice and may be untimely when presented here. Do not infer or assume that any securities, sectors or markets described in this article were or will be profitable. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. There is a possibility of loss. Historical or hypothetical performance results are presented for illustrative purposes only.



Plenty was founded to democratize access to financial products and tools that accelerate wealth building. Plenty Financial and affiliated entities. (“Plenty Financial”) provide a web, mobile, personal financial management and educational platform to consumers; some of these tools are freely accessible to all consumers, others require a fee-based subscription. Advisory services are provided in the form of software-first financial planning and investment advisory services for fee-based Subscribers. Plenty Financial RIA, LLC is an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. All investments made are legally owned by you. Investing is inherently risky and Plenty does not guarantee positive performance. Investments are held in accounts at BNY Mellon | Pershings, the world's largest securities servicing company and are SIPC insured. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that the investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.


Brokerage services are provided by Atomic Brokerage LLC "Atomic Brokerage", member FINRA and SIPC. Clearing and custody services are provided by Brokerage firm BNY Mellon Pershing, member SIPC. Plenty Financial RIA, LLC has a relationship with Atomic Brokerage to manage and execute investments on behalf of customers. Subadvisory services are offered through Atomic Invest LLC ("Atomic Invest"), an SEC-registered investment advisor, member SIPC. Atomic Invest was formerly known as Helium Advisors LLC.


Return data used in the interactive tool are hypothetical performance data which contains inherent limitations and is not a substitute for actual investment returns derived from a live portfolio. There are numerous risk factors related to trading and markets which cannot be fully accounted for when depicting Hypothetical Performance. Consequently, future returns are not guaranteed, and a loss of principal may occur. THIS IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE. This site/application has been prepared by Plenty and is not intended to be (and may not be relied on in any manner as) legal, tax, investment, accounting or other advice or as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of any investment product or any investment advisory service. The information contained in this site/application is superseded by, and is qualified in its entirety by, such offering materials. This site/application may contain proprietary, trade-secret, confidential and commercially sensitive information.


By accessing this site, you signify your agreement with and understanding of the following Terms of Use and Legal Information pertaining to both this site and any material in it. Plenty owns and maintains this site. No act of downloading or otherwise copying from this site will transfer title to any software or material at this site to you. Anything that you transmit to this site becomes the property of Plenty, may be used by Plenty for any lawful purpose, and is further subject to disclosure as deemed appropriate by Plenty, including to any legal or regulatory authority to which Plenty is subject. Plenty reserves all rights with respect to copyright ownership of all material at this site, and will enforce such rights to the full extent of the law.


Plenty was founded to democratize access to financial products and tools that accelerate wealth building. Plenty Financial and affiliated entities. (“Plenty Financial”) provide a web, mobile, personal financial management and educational platform to consumers; some of these tools are freely accessible to all consumers, others require a fee-based subscription. Advisory services are provided in the form of software-first financial planning and investment advisory services for fee-based Subscribers. Plenty Financial RIA, LLC is an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. All investments made are legally owned by you. Investing is inherently risky and Plenty does not guarantee positive performance. Investments are held in accounts at BNY Mellon | Pershings, the world's largest securities servicing company and are SIPC insured. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that the investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.


Brokerage services are provided by Atomic Brokerage LLC "Atomic Brokerage", member FINRA and SIPC. Clearing and custody services are provided by Brokerage firm BNY Mellon Pershing, member SIPC. Plenty Financial RIA, LLC has a relationship with Atomic Brokerage to manage and execute investments on behalf of customers. Subadvisory services are offered through Atomic Invest LLC ("Atomic Invest"), an SEC-registered investment advisor, member SIPC. Atomic Invest was formerly known as Helium Advisors LLC.


Return data used in the interactive tool are hypothetical performance data which contains inherent limitations and is not a substitute for actual investment returns derived from a live portfolio. There are numerous risk factors related to trading and markets which cannot be fully accounted for when depicting Hypothetical Performance. Consequently, future returns are not guaranteed, and a loss of principal may occur. THIS IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE. This site/application has been prepared by Plenty and is not intended to be (and may not be relied on in any manner as) legal, tax, investment, accounting or other advice or as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of any investment product or any investment advisory service. The information contained in this site/application is superseded by, and is qualified in its entirety by, such offering materials. This site/application may contain proprietary, trade-secret, confidential and commercially sensitive information.


By accessing this site, you signify your agreement with and understanding of the following Terms of Use and Legal Information pertaining to both this site and any material in it. Plenty owns and maintains this site. No act of downloading or otherwise copying from this site will transfer title to any software or material at this site to you. Anything that you transmit to this site becomes the property of Plenty, may be used by Plenty for any lawful purpose, and is further subject to disclosure as deemed appropriate by Plenty, including to any legal or regulatory authority to which Plenty is subject. Plenty reserves all rights with respect to copyright ownership of all material at this site, and will enforce such rights to the full extent of the law.


Plenty was founded to democratize access to financial products and tools that accelerate wealth building. Plenty Financial and affiliated entities. (“Plenty Financial”) provide a web, mobile, personal financial management and educational platform to consumers; some of these tools are freely accessible to all consumers, others require a fee-based subscription. Advisory services are provided in the form of software-first financial planning and investment advisory services for fee-based Subscribers. Plenty Financial RIA, LLC is an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. All investments made are legally owned by you. Investing is inherently risky and Plenty does not guarantee positive performance. Investments are held in accounts at BNY Mellon | Pershings, the world's largest securities servicing company and are SIPC insured. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that the investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.


Brokerage services are provided by Atomic Brokerage LLC "Atomic Brokerage", member FINRA and SIPC. Clearing and custody services are provided by Brokerage firm BNY Mellon Pershing, member SIPC. Plenty Financial RIA, LLC has a relationship with Atomic Brokerage to manage and execute investments on behalf of customers. Subadvisory services are offered through Atomic Invest LLC ("Atomic Invest"), an SEC-registered investment advisor, member SIPC. Atomic Invest was formerly known as Helium Advisors LLC.


Return data used in the interactive tool are hypothetical performance data which contains inherent limitations and is not a substitute for actual investment returns derived from a live portfolio. There are numerous risk factors related to trading and markets which cannot be fully accounted for when depicting Hypothetical Performance. Consequently, future returns are not guaranteed, and a loss of principal may occur. THIS IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE. This site/application has been prepared by Plenty and is not intended to be (and may not be relied on in any manner as) legal, tax, investment, accounting or other advice or as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of any investment product or any investment advisory service. The information contained in this site/application is superseded by, and is qualified in its entirety by, such offering materials. This site/application may contain proprietary, trade-secret, confidential and commercially sensitive information.


By accessing this site, you signify your agreement with and understanding of the following Terms of Use and Legal Information pertaining to both this site and any material in it. Plenty owns and maintains this site. No act of downloading or otherwise copying from this site will transfer title to any software or material at this site to you. Anything that you transmit to this site becomes the property of Plenty, may be used by Plenty for any lawful purpose, and is further subject to disclosure as deemed appropriate by Plenty, including to any legal or regulatory authority to which Plenty is subject. Plenty reserves all rights with respect to copyright ownership of all material at this site, and will enforce such rights to the full extent of the law.