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For better or worse, happiness is hitched to your spouse

25 Nov 2010 | MSNBC.com

For years, people have assumed their happiness was tied to things like personal success, good health, inner peace, or perhaps the ability to finally fit into a pair of size 4 jeans.

Now new research suggests a person's happiness - or lack thereof - may actually depend on something else entirely: their spouse.

According to a study in the latest issue of the American Psychological Association's journal Developmental Psychology, a person's individual happiness is closely tied with that of their spouse - at least when it comes to long-term married couples.

"What we saw over a long period of time is that if one spouse changed in terms of increasing happiness, the other spouse's happiness would go up," says Christiane Hoppmann, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and lead author of the study. "And if there was a dip in happiness, this dip would also affect the respective spouse.

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Action for Happiness


  • Teaching young people life skills - like empathy, resilience and emotional intelligence - is just as important as their academic learning

    today 10:54am

  • The greatest gift you can give someone is your undivided attention http://t.co/fs9ihuHOjT

    yesterday 10:25am

  • For a happier society, we need the right priorities: compassion over competition; meaning over money; people over power; giving over getting

    yesterday 3:16am

  • We're all imperfect, so don't compare your insides with other people's outsides. Just accept yourself for who you are http://t.co/BcxnP0lg7c

    yesterday 10:39am

  • @Frostalicus: I signed up to a challenge for 7 days to see if it would make me happier. This is what happened: http://t…

    tuesday 19 aug 8:00am

  • Depression isn't "selfish". Mental health issues are just as real as physical ones and deserve just as much support http://t.co/1t7P6JYC4S

    tuesday 19 aug 7:58am

  • Be part of something bigger. When we connect to a cause greater than just ourselves, we discover far more meaning and purpose in life

    tuesday 19 aug 10:21am

  • @At_my_best: Improving #wellbeing should be our global priority says Mark Williamson from http://t.co/z0JuPy9G7I

    monday 18 aug 11:21am

  • We are not human-doings, we are human-beings. So let's spend less time doing and more time simply being http://t.co/VMtm3kjwbk

    monday 18 aug 11:21am

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