Five Secrets of Still-Happy Couples
1. Praising their partner: Sixty-one percent of happy couples say their spouse makes them feel good about themselves, versus only 27 percent of moderately happy and unhappy couples.
2. Focusing on good sex, not lots of it: Three out of four happy couples are satisfied with their lovemaking, even if its frequency has diminished over time.
3. Keeping the faith: Among study couples who are happiest together, 96 percent of the wives and 92 percent of the husbands say the most crucial marriage expectation is this: "You should feel that your spouse would never hurt or deceive you."
4. Continuing to learn about each other's needs: Virtually all the contented couples in the study expressed that they know and understand their partner intimately -- not just daily routines and personal preferences, but what truly makes each other feel special.
5. Sharing their secrets: Half of all the happy couples say they regularly reveal secrets or share their feelings with their partner.
Originally published in the September 2011 issue of Parents magazine.