How a Lack of Gratitude Kills Relationships

A new study suggests that couples who express gratitude are more satisfied with their relationship.

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Imagine that you’ve embarked on a quest to be more grateful. You dutifully journal about the happy events in your day, training your mind to see the positives. You notice and begin to appreciate all the little things your partner does for you, from brewing your morning coffee to letting you pick what movie to watch. This can only be good for your relationship, right?

According to a new study, it depends—on whether your partner is grateful, too.

While gratitude has been shown to be a boon for individuals—making you happierhealthier, and more successful—less is known about how gratitude works in relationships, where personalities and habits collide to create complex, dynamic interactions.

How Practicing Gratitude Helps Relationships

To go deeper into whether gratitude helps relationships, Florida State University psychologist James K. McNulty and his coauthor Alexander Dugas recruited 120 newlywed couples to fill out surveys. Initially, they reported how happy and satisfied they were with their marriage and their partner, and how much…