Although we teach our kids the value of "thank you," we sometimes forget how powerful those two little words can be--especially when they're directed at our spouses. That's the message from a new study, which found that gratitude played a huge role in whether a marriage lasts. Even better, saying "thank you" protected couples from the damage caused by fighting.
Researchers from the University of Georgia studied 450 couples, asking them questions about their finances (a big cause of fights), their ways of communicating with each other, and the value they placed on their partners. They found that when couples feel appreciated and believed that their partner valued them, they felt more committed to the marriage. And this was true no matter how much nagging, criticizing, or fighting went on. Just acknowledging your mate when he or she is doing something nice can act like a buffer, say researchers.
"All couples have disagreements and argue," said Ted Futris, a University of Georgia professor who co-authored the study. "What distinguishes the marriages that last from those that don't is not how often they argue, but how they treat each other on a daily basis."
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