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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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