David H. Olson, founder of Life Innovations and one of the creators of the Prepare/Enrich marriage enrichment tools, has surveyed 21,501 married couples in all 50 states to identify the top ten strengths of happy marriages.
Research shows the strongest couples are those who have strong communication skills, a clear sense of closeness as a couple, flexibility, personal compatibility and good conflict management skills.
In strong marriages, there is a balance between separateness and togetherness. These couples make togetherness a top priority, ask each other for help, like doing things together, and spend most of their free time together.
- Partners are satisfied with communication.
- Partners handle their differences creatively.
- They feel very close to each other.
- Spouses are not controlling.
- Partners discuss their problems well.
- They are satisfied with the affection they show and receive in the marriage.
- There is a good balance of time alone and together.
- Family and friends rarely interfere.
- Partners agree on how to spend money.
- Partners agree on spiritual beliefs.