Mindfulness and Marital Satisfaction

August 23rd, 2011

The Researchers: L. C. Burpee and E. J. Langer

Published In: Journal of Adult Development, Vol 12(1), pp. 43-51, 2005


Mindful marriages are happier.


It’s often said that the key to marital satisfaction is finding a partner who shares your values and goals. But according to this study, it’s mindfulness, not similarity, that’s most important.

Married participants filled out questionnaires focusing on their satisfaction with and similarity to their spouses. They also completed a mindfulness scale, which measured the degree to which they sought out new things, exercised flexibility, and engaged with their surroundings.

The researchers found that similarity contributed to marital satisfaction hardly at all, but mindfulness accounted for about eight percent of spousal bliss. A possible explanation: People who are mindful are flexible, so they aren’t so caught off guard or likely to become unhappy when their relationships change over time.

Takes the pressure off finding the perfect mate, doesn’t it?

Beauty connection

Instead of searching for a person who fits your checklist to a T, look for someone who is open to new experiences and able to empathize. Having a healthy relationship will benefit everything from your blood pressure to your complexion, while an unhealthy relationship can lead to weight gain and other poor health outcomes.

Read More by Ellen Langer:
Meet the Mind: Ellen Langer
Mindfulness Can Make You Fitter
Gratitude Is Good for Health
Mindfulness Improves Your Vision
Take Responsibility, Live Longer

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