Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Secret to a Happy Marriage

Love,compatibility, understanding, mutual respect, common interests, acceptance, maturity, equality, division of labor and friendship are some commonly quoted ingredients of life’s spiciest yet tastiest dish called ‘happy marriage.’ Our ancestors probably would say a husband making good money and the wife taking care of home is the recipe.

Guess another factor in the equation of spouses. Delusion! Yes, a new research conducted on 222 couples and published in The Boston Globe says

People who were, well, a bit delusional about their partners when they got married were more   satisfied with their marriage three years later than those see-it-like-it-is realists.

 It further adds

Those who inflated their partner’s assets also reported being more happily married

While an Engineer in my mind views the world in black and white and seeks a mathematical proof, a part of my brain agrees with this result.

Happiness is a state of mind. It cannot be measured, weighed or calculated. Happiness is non-scientific and in turn ‘happy marriage’ is an abstract phenomenon. Some people are happy without any reason and some need fulfillment of endless goals to feel a little less sad. People who are usually in high spirits (and may be a little delusional) view their partner with a positive attitude and are likely to overlook negative traits.

May be married couples need to become ‘delusional’ and start appreciating and overstating positive attributes of their spouses and unmarried individuals shall consider  cheerfulness as the most important factor instead of wealth or looks in potential partners.

What do you think?


NRIGirl said...

Aha.. That explains how Israel finds me the best always. He is delusional :)

NRIGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NRIGirl said...

On the other hand, I know for sure he is the best!

Irfanuddin said...

well... any body is not perfect in totality.... so i think for a happy life one must view his/her partner with a +ve attitude then only life can be better..... not only in marriage but in every relations for that matter.

Amrit said...


It seems like both of you are delusional. So can you honestly say your is a happy marriage, and if it is..then we have one more sample. I think yours is a happy marriage.


Yes. We are not perfect so positive view point at home will work too.

Insignia said...

We can talk at lengths about it. Mutual respect, compromise and understanding is the key.

Nisha said...

Aha what a lovely post.
I think one has to constantly work on this... to keep the marriage go on happily. And of course, delusion is one of the ways. :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with both the research findings. Delusional is the way to go and adding assets is the top on priority. I think if both partners leave their WORK problems at work , things would be peaceful in the house.

RiĆ  said...

Well i follow a very realistic approach...i wonder what's my hubby's approach! Need to check with him...as of now we seem to be very happy. Well its been a month since we got married so i guess we shud wait n watch! :D

Smita said...

Hmmmm in a way I agree with it. Better to ignore the bad points & be happy ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm along with delusion, being and thinking positive, tolerance, understanding are main keys to any successful relationship... :)

shuchita said...

I don't agree with these findings,I think it's loving someone despite their faults and accepting them for who they are warts and all.

Whirlwind said...

Well no two pwople can be as alike as two peas in a pod. But yes vast and stark differences will bring in seizures in the relationship. I personally believe that a couple must have similar views and values about life. And yes sky high expectations definitely dont work. A recipe for a good relationship is a practical view, friendship, respect and acceptance.

Mangala said...

Becoming friends before becoming life partners, was what worked for us. We have our differences, but we complement each other in ways that what one lacks, the other fulfills. If I am short-tempered, he is peaceful. If he is absent-minded, I am responsible. I tried changing him thinking it was for his good, but realized that I love him for what he is. He comes as a package with his positives n negatives and I have my weak points too. When he loves me inspite of all my weaknesses, then I too can ignore his negatives. Love n respect for each other are more important.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I agree that the secret to a happy marriage is the ability to be able to close your eyes to your partner's failings. "delusional" as you have said. Its the same as looking at the full part of the glass rather than the empty part.

raji said...

A BULLS EYE TARGET!you stuck the right chord.So now I will copy paste this and email it to my hubby ;so things may get better hopefully.These days we are having bad fights you see.:)))Being serious I think It's all about being content and as you said delusional and a little exaggeration which is all needed in day to day life between the couples to keep themselves happy.Good write up A

raji said...

sorry commas missing in my comment ..do not mind

Suruchi said...

agree agree agree...
a bit of reality a bit of delusion...the perfect allusion:-)
it is very subjective n wish there was a short cut to make things as simple as that:-)

Shobha said...

As you have rightly said, life's spiciest and tastiest dish is " Happy Marriage"
When we put the right amount of spices and cook the dish with utmost care it comes out tasty..marriage too works the same way...we need to be patient, caring, loving, forgiving and above all non-egoistic.

Tanvi said...

I always read such studies for entertainment purpose only. Never really try and analyze my life as per them. Also, so fa I have no clue what makes a marriage works. But if it is working then why analyze is :) Don't fix what ain't broken - is one of my many mottos :P

from © tanvii.com

Emilie said...

interesting!! I don't know if I agree with ignoring bad things though...



Rika said...

I'm not sure, lets say that if a 'alcoholic wife-beating' husband is deluded to be 'swami vivekananda' by his wife, then is that going to be a happy marriage? (just a scenario)...but otherwise what u say is right...mutual respect and ignoring/accepting mistakes occasionally (putting ur ego aside for a while) does help...

kiran sawhney said...

Very intelligent post- as is quite expected from you.
You should write such stuff more often.
You seem to know the right formula, right trick.
i will share a joke with you on this subject on email.

hamaarethoughts.com said...

..Yep..I agree...in fact..one of the best ways to keep stress aside.. ignoring the flaws..and appreciating the qualities...
..to me ..it does make sense...when I look around and hear stories..I think..everything falls to its place!

sm said...

happiness is state of mind
well said

Rama Ananth said...

Many times we think that it is better if the marriage is between like minded people to be happy, however even the most opposite thinking people can get along very well. I feel now it doesn't matter at all as people who have similar views about everything like my daughter and her husband, too get along very well, and people like me and my husband who have totally different thoughts also get along fine. I suppose just having the same ideas regarding everything is not boring , so is not having the same thoughts about every issue is also not boring.
It all depends on our attitude towards life, the route may be different, but the goal to reach is the same.

Geeta said...

I agree about the delusional part.

The second part of the research seems the other way round. One is sure to inflate the assets of their spouse if they love/admire/respect/etc that person.

Bhargavi said...

Being delusional about everything in life helps,i think.Wonder how they measured happiness!

BK Chowla, said...

I have different views on this.
But, as the joke goes--You can be either married or happy.

A New Beginning said...

That's a very nice post :)...yes there are ceratin secrets to a happy marriage, but it's also true that we discover such secrets every day , when we live together and accept one another as we are...life is great when we try to make that way..:)

Felicity Grace Terry said...

I agree, love is just like happiness in that it also cannot be quantified and is largely a state of mind.

Never one to be impressed by 'good' looks or wealth, I truly believe a kindred spirit is one of the things that make a good marriage.

Thanks for another thought provoking post, I always enjoy reading your views on these matters.

baili said...

i think problem starts from when we are not friend any more,friendship is a strong key to stay connected even you are husband.that way your love remains unconditional

R said...

I think compliments really work! :D

Haddock said...

There is some logic in that inflating the partner's assets.
I think the main culprit is "expectations"

sm said...

thanks for comment on intermediary,,
i have written a new article to clarify more on your comment.
Will be waiting for your comment on this article.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

I think delusional people are definitely happier. In fact, if some of the style bloggers are anything to go by, just saying you're super-happy makes you happy. I think I'm always in the slightly-discontented realist camp, but I would like to be delusional!

Great feature on NRI's blog by the way. I really enjoyed reading it and seeing your picture! And your first love story is on my reading list. Unfortunately I have to read about 50 articles of climate change first, but I promise I'll get to it...

Urmi said...

I was extremely busy for past few months so I could not visit your blog. I haven't started writing a book.
Thanks for your lovely comment.
Nice to read your post after a long time. Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post but dont understand the logic. For me married life is one of understanding and compromising. I love my partner knowing all the pros and cons about my partner. We give each other a lot of freedom too.

I dont think my partner is the best and nor do I think, my partner feels I am the best. But we will stay with each other and no regrets from my side...

Anu said...

It's all in the mutual understanding and expect nothing!

Amrit said...


Yes this can be debated for a long time. I see your view point.


Thanks. Yes I agree one has to constantly try to work on it.


Thanks. Work problem at work. Is it really possible? Wish there was a turn on/off switch.


You will do fine. The theory does not really address the other approaches.


Thanks. Best to ignore the bad points but hard to do.


Yes. Fully agree with you.


Okay. Thanks. Theory does not say there is only one way to be happy.


Yes. Similar view, friendship and respect. Accept your viewpoint.


That is great insight from personal experience. Thanks. Very well captured.


Thanks. Nice way to put delusional.


Thanks. Yes. Content is the key. Agree with your comments.


Agree three times  Like your verse.

Amrit said...


Thanks. Patient, caring and forgiving. 


Yes. Why fix if something is not broken. I think you never have to worry about this theory. I will send you an email.




Theory is for normal couples where violence and abuse is not involved. Typical they exclude abnormal behavior from samples. But I see your points. Thanks.


Thanks for the compliment. I will write more on this.




Is not that a good statement. Happiness is a state of mind. I loved writing it.


Exactly you said – attitude towards life. That is what I tried to say..if someone is generally happy and married life is likely to be happy. Thanks.


Thanks. I agree about second part. It could be other way. 


Thanks. There is no measure of happiness. They asked questions. Are you happy? Haha. That is what I say, happiness is abstract – cannot be measured.


Really liked your joke.

Amrit said...


I see your points. Every day we find something new. Thanks.


Fully agree with your about kindred spirit. Thanks for comments.


Good points. Unconditional love requires a foundation.

@Raam Payari,

Compliments work. And I compliment you for visiting here and keep coming back.


Yes keeping low expectations is the best way. Thanks.


Thanks. I am trying to become delusional too  Being unhappy and over analytical does not help. Thanks for reading feature.


No problem. Thanks for the comments and compliments.


I think the logic here is being little delusional helps to accept the partner with pro and cons and without asking for any changes. Agree with you.


Mutual understanding and expect Nothing….that sounds little extreme. But see your point Thanks.

Destination Infinity said...

Marriages are happy if both the partners are understanding and have mutual respect for each other. Otherwise, they are seen as 'those happy days' long after separation!

Would you believe if I said that external hardship would make happy marriages? So, its better not to ask me this question :)

Destination Infinity


Very interesting and useful.

Anonymous said...

Javed Akhtar (Shabana Azmi's husband) once jokingly said that the secret to their long lasting marriage is that they don't get to spend time together as they both are very busy in their professional carrier and hardly get time to get into arguments.

I think there is a lot of depth in his statement..

Personally I feel any marriage/relationship goes through ups and down and it is how we deal on bad days matter..


Nirvana said...

thats such a new way to look at marriage. Personally, I think expectations are raised so much by all th hype around marriage. I mean. we have arguments, different viewpoints and disagreements in all relationships, including friendships and parenting. But when it comes to marriage, the rules begin to change.. :-).. very well written, A

Sakshi said...

Like you stated in your post, I belong to the category of people who stays happy for no particular reason and I guess our 9 year marriage is working just because the husband is always busy wondering why I am always happy? ;)

"Those who inflated their partner’s assets also reported being more happily married" !!!! Seriously? I hope I am not reading too much into the study and they are just talking about the financial aspects *grins*

Ps: Don't worry about the Count and me putting nonsensical comments at CB's place. No one expects us to be serious anyway :( :( The day we put sensible comments all of them mail to ask if we have caught some incurable deadly disease! sigh!

Anjuli said...

ha ha- so delusion is the answer :) I agree with Nisha about 'having to work at it'- and of course, the delusion part helps. I know I'm totally 'in love' with my husband and I do see ALL his positive attributes- because after ALL these years, it is hard to find anything negative about him....aaah...could it be, I'm a bit delusional too :)

Tanishka said...

I don't completely agree on this one... I think a relationship gets perfect when you begin to love the imperfections of other person... Just a thought.... :)

anupama said...

Dear A,
Good Afternoon!
Love,respect, understanding and accepting the partner as he/she is giving space works marriages work!
A thought provoking post!
Today I was watching an interview with a great personality on the TV scree.The person was telling even after thirty years of marraige they are rediscovering each other.
It was cool.
Wishing you a beautiful evening,

Amrit said...

@Destination Infinity,

Liked your comment. Those happy days…Thanks.

@Jagdish Bali,


@Anonymous (DM)

Yes. That is another aspect. Giving space to each other is important too. Thanks.


Thanks for comments. I agree about expectations. Marriage changes expectations.

@hot girl,



I could not stop smiling at your comment especially at finance part. I think you are happy just because you like to be happy
regardless of spouse’s wonderings.


Haha. Thanks. So no negative quality in your husband…. Haha! You see everything in positive light. Thanks for sharing your personal interesting aspect of life.


Wow. Very well said. When you love imperfections. Thanks.


Thanks. Interesting input directly from interview on TV. Yes. I think if we keep an open and keep discovering spouse, chances are we will be happy.

Punam said...

he he he funny research I might say.
Rather than a delusion, I'd say these qualities MUST be there in a spouse. Why to create a delusion and keep regretting when the truth doesn't match your delusions? :)

Rachna said...

I wish it were this simple :). Marriage is a huge gamble. In certain traits, it does not matter if you think differently, but for the most important decisions in life, both the partners must be on the same page. Communication, mutual respect and trust rate higher than love in my opinion. A good sense of humor helps tide bad times. And, when the going gets negative, keeping the positives in sight sometimes help a lot. Happiness is a mirage. Thou shall have it if thou makes an attempt to have it :).

dr.antony said...

There is no simple recipe for a happy life.I cant understand this discovery.If so,mentally abnormal people will be happiest.They have the most delusions.
Happiness is not waiting at the end of the road.Learn to take it in tiny bites,all along.

Innocent boy said...

You have written well but what you think abt my article of secrets abt happy marriage life