What Makes Marriages Work

In a fun TED Talk writer Jenna McCarthy shares some actual research on how marriages—and especially happy marriages—work. The results might surprise you.

In the U.S. alone about 2,077,000 couples make a decision every year to get married. They promise to stay together for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, and until death do them part. And 50% of those marriages end within a decade.

So, as we near this year’s Valentine’s Day, here’s what makes for a happy and successful marriage as shared by McCarthy:

  • The wife is thinner and better looking than the husband. (McCarthy says that all the wife needs to do is fatten her husband up.)
  • The couple has a habit of focusing on the positive.
  • The husband does housework. This makes him more attractive to the wife.
  • People who smile a lot in their child photos are more likely to have a good marriage.
  • In successful couples neither has won an Oscar for Best Actor. (You can probably check that one off the list. She says that in Hollywood winning an Oscar is called “the kiss of death” for a marriage.)
  • Watching Romantic Comedies can make your relationship plummet. Therefore, happy marriages don’t watch them. (Any man reading this can thank me later.)
  • Drinking alcohol is bad for a marriage. Healthy marriages monitor their intake.
  • Healthy marriages have friends who have healthy marriages. The flipside is that if a friend gets divorced it spikes your chances of divorcing to 75%.

The good news is that healthy marriages are good for you. People with strong marriages:

  • Make more money.
  • Are healthier physically and emotionally.
  • Have kids who are more stable, happier, and more successful in life.
  • Have more sex.
  • Live longer.

The Hebrew writer said it like this: “Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband.”

Make Valentine’s an everyday occurance. Be positive. Do housework together. Smile a lot. Hang around other people with good marriages. Don’t drink too much. Watch more action movies and dramas.

And while you’re at it … don’t win any Oscars anytime soon.

Question: What is the best part of your marriage?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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