Marital happiness

Apr 25, 2013

Following on from my last blog, I bring the fruits of some research (American, of course!), to help solve the problem of how to make a marriage work. Marital happiness is far from being a ‘given’ for any couple.

The research, using 120 couples and led by a university professor, Eli Finkel, suggests that it is important for couples to review their relationship three times a year.

The study

Half the volunteers produced a written appraisal of their marriage three times a year for two years, or quarterly or for 21 minutes a year. The other half did none of this.

The findings

“The couples who did the writing exercise three times a year recovered more quickly from arguments”, said Professor Finkel. Connecting between arguments paves the way for a speedy recovery when we do fight.

So this looks like a course worth adopting.

A logical consequence

It has also been suggested that financial matters should be reviewed in a similar way. After all, this is one area that can impact very strongly on marital happiness.

Arguably, this could put an even greater strain on the marriage, so it might be as well to do it monthly. That way you can nip potential problems in the bud.


The idea of sitting down and writing an appraisal may be less than attractive (especially, now you’ve left school). However, a regular written review may do the trick and give your marriage a boost.

That’s surely worth a try!


Michael is a celebrant based in London.