What effect does gratitude have on marriage and relationships?
Researcher Dr John Gottman suggests a 5 positive-to-1 negative ratio for a happy successful marriage. Dr Gottman has become famous for his predictions of whether a marriage will succeed and flourish. “The formula is that for every negative expression (a complaint, frown-put-down, expression of anger) there needs to be about five positive ones (smiles, compliments or laughter.)” More information can be found at Grateful-ology, http://www.uthealthleader.org/
Researcher C. Gordon from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington asked the question: how does gratitude affect marital satisfaction? Fifty couples (both husband and wife) who had been married an average of approximately 20 years participated in daily diary posts. The expected results were that the individual’s gratitude to his/her partner shows increased satisfaction in the marriage. What surprised the researchers was this: “outward expressions of gratitude were outranked by a spouse’s “felt”—or inward—sense of gratitude.” Can I interpret this to mean that my non-verbal communication tells my spouse how grateful I am to share life with him?
You can find more about this research at The Happiness Institute, http://www.thehappinessinstitute.com/blog/article.aspx?c=3&a=2831 How Gratitude Strengthens a Marriage, http://foryourmarriage.org/how-gratitude-strengthens-a-marriage/