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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


  • @activelistener: Great interview with Sir Richard Leyard from on all in the mind on radio 4 https://t.co/bdr7v2nhlW

    yesterday 8:10am

  • Modern life can be isolating. Doing random acts of kindness helps break down barriers between people https://t.co/VeUrY76rBe @KindOffensive

    yesterday 8:09am

  • Today make a list of 3 to 5 activities which you know make you and others happy. Then make plans to do them as soon as possible

    yesterday 11:49am

  • Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything it is https://t.co/NTMxvdabKC

    saturday 28 may 11:25am

  • This is so great! -> World's First Museum of Happiness opens in London's First Happy Cafe https://t.co/sKCy8hmmz7 https://t.co/XiPLWTyJbO

    saturday 28 may 12:51pm

  • Find your green peace: being in nature is great for our mental health and can help to restore us after a busy week https://t.co/jEi7IvR4Pp

    saturday 28 may 12:02pm

  • Happiness is homemade https://t.co/F4g1rb28P6

    friday 27 may 11:27am

  • @LindseyGConnect: Finished leading course. Loved it, feedback gr8: "life changing", "inspiring", "a new beginning" #Hap…

    friday 27 may 9:28am

  • We have a natural tendency to focus on problems. But life is happier when we notice & appreciate the good things too https://t.co/JZqRP8lKCv

    friday 27 may 9:27am

  • We have a natural tendency to focus on problems. But life is happier when we notice & appreciate the good things too https://t.co/aRMgGhIRZb

    friday 27 may 9:26am

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