According to a recent study, generosity, along with sexual intimacy and commitment, was rated in the top three predictors of “very happy” marriages; specifically of those married partners with children.
This may not be much of a surprise. Most people would predict that those three qualities would make the list.
Perhaps these qualities meet partners’ needs on various levels—commitment at the base, sexual intimacy the core, and generosity the cream on the cake.
The Firm Foundation of Commitment
This fact is surely a no-brainer, yet practicing loyalty by way of practical senses-of-sacrifice is, without doubt, exceptional.
Couples may stay together for decades, seeing out their vows till death do they part, but can their long-term commitment augment, in any way, the more important and abundantly relevant issue of day by day and moment by moment commitment? Where are partners when the chips are down?
Commitment is more than agreeing not to divorce; it’s more than keeping the vow of fidelity; and, it’s even more than sticking by our partners through thick and thin.
Commitment, as a firm foundation, is loyalty to one’s spouse as one might be loyal to oneself—in, and of, a rational mind. Who, of a sensible mind, would decry themselves?
The Flux Core of Sexual Intimacy
The engine room of marriage has to be located in intimacy, and the real brake horsepower quantifying such intimacy is the nuance of sexual intimacy; not ‘brilliant sex’ by any means, but partners immediately and conscionably comfortable with each other in the orientation of sexual play.
Trust and respect have no better basis than by expression in the bedroom; true sexual intimacy is achieved when marriage partners strive to discover in their partner what remains to be discovered; and, they serve each other.
Sexual intimacy, hence, introduces the topic of generosity.
What Makes Marriages ‘Very Happy’ – Generosity
The point of the cited article was to highlight the strong ratio of generous acts in so-called “very happy” marriages.
It may, on the surface, seem to be quite a blow for marriages where partners are not especially generous—they are more likely to not be uniquely satisfied and as close to perfectly content as can be.
But, knowing that generosity can make big differences in marital happiness outcomes motivates partners—even for initially selfish reasons—to outdo one another such to achieve such wedded happiness, themselves, personally.
We can trust the research. Predictors of very happy marriages are: high levels of commitment, deep and meaningful sexual intimacy, and wide applications of generosity.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.