The single best predictor of marital longevity is that both partners are kind and emotionally generous to each other, per pivotal research from The Gottman Institute in Seattle. Do you treat each other with consideration, versus being frequently critical and biting? Do you tend to see the good in your partner and want to increase his happiness? Little day-to-day interactions that reflect this rapport are common among couples who stay happily married.
A recent study out of the University of Georgia found that another essential ingredient to lasting love is gratitude; those who feel appreciated and valued by their spouse may feel more committed to their marriage and have a more positive outlook overall.
Lastly, joint decision making—and shared domestic duties—are also key to a long and satisfying partnership, according to a study in the Journal of Family Issues. So maybe he loads the dishes haphazardly and you order takeout more than you cook. As long as you’re both pitching in and coming together on the tough stuff, you’re in good shape.
Gail Saltz, MD, is a psychiatrist and television commentator in New York City who specializes in health, sex, and relationships.