We’ve always wanted to know what the secret is to a long and happy marriage. Oftentimes, we become envious of the Silver and Golden wedding anniversary celebrations thrown by our parents and grandparents. I have even witnessed a wedding anniversary that celebrated 75 years of union!
What I figured is this: there’s no exact secret to a long and happy marriage. I asked my parents, my grandparents, and even uncles and aunts. They just told me that the key to being happily married is to love each other.
But can science explain this wonderful yet romantic phenomenon? Christian Jarrett explores this in an article for Science of Us.
One unusual brain imaging study was done and published in Human Brain Mapping that could explain what goes on in the minds, or rather brains, of happily married couples.
It all boils down to relationship satisfaction displayed by long-time married older women and the neural activity behind their response to their husband’s positive show of emotions.
Essentially, psychologist Raluca Petrican from the Rotman Institute in Toronto together with her colleagues studied 14 married women with an average age of 72 years old. The researchers scanned the women’s brains as they watched a 10-second silent video of their husbands smiling or laughing, or any happy memory.
What was happening was surreal. When the women watched the video, one important finding emerged. There was a flurry of brain activity, suggesting there were more than emotional and mental neural processing involved.
You can read more about the article here.
Penny for your thoughts
Whether it’s a scientific phenomenon or just plain hard work, we cannot discount the fact that there are people who can stay happily married for more than 25 years.
As someone from the field of science, I cannot surrender to the idea that it’s all just about love when it comes to being happily married. But as a human being who embodies the idea and concept of love, there can be no other explanation as to why people just stay in love for a long time.