Marital Satisfaction Linked to Gene in New Study

    October 8, 2013
    Sean Patterson
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As humans we would like to think that we’re in control of our emotions. That disagreements with loved ones are settled completely on our terms. It turns out, however, that we may be heavily influenced by genetics when it comes to how much stock we put in the emotional world.

A new study, published this week in the journal Emotion, has found a link between a gene in humans and how we deal with emotions in relationships. The study followed over 100 married people, observing their marital interactions over the course of years. Those with shorter versions of specific gene alleles were more likely to describe themselves as unhappy or happy during times of trouble or joy in their relationships. Those with longer versions of the gene were not as affected by emotional changes in their marriages.

“An enduring mystery is, what makes one spouse so attuned to the emotional climate in a marriage, and another so oblivious?” said Robert Levenson, co-author of the study and a psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley. “With these new genetic findings, we now understand much more about what determines just how important emotions are for different people.”

The gene, named 5-HTTLPR, is involved in the regulation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in feelings of well-being. Levenson and his colleagues believe this could contribute to strong feelings for those with short versions of the gene, meaning those people would feel better than most when in a positive marriage – but feel worse than others when things turn sour.

“Individuals with two short alleles of the gene variant may be like hothouse flowers, blossoming in a marriage when the emotional climate is good and withering when it is bad,” said Claudia Haase, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University. “Conversely, people with one or two long alleles are less sensitive to the emotional climate.”

  • Really?

    A whole 100 couples were studied? That is not very significant. All this gene nonsense is getting to be too much. Just because you have a gene it doesn’t mean it will even activate. We all have genes for many things that will not manifest itself because the environment is not right.

    Want to be happy in a marriage then do these things:

    1) Forgive and realize no one is perfect. Take time to listen to your partner and try to put yourself in their shoes.

    2) Stay in shape and have lots of sex. When people date, they look their best and are very physical (affectionate). After they get married, many stop taking care of themselves and aren’t affectionate.

    3) Don’t put on a front when you date — it wont last in a marriage. Be yourself. Make sure that your spouse loves who you really are. False fronts kill marriages. When a spouse realizes that who they dated isn’t who they married — trouble happens.

    4) Live below your means. Don’t by crap you don’t need and put financial stress on the family. Having a lot things doesn’t make life better.

    5) Realize how lucky you are to share a life with someone. Life is hard and a supportive spouse is a Godsend. There are so many lonely people on this planet that have to go it alone. Every day there are many people who die alone in this world and many wish that they would have had more love. You are lucky if you have a spouse.

    Lastly, you need to pray. God isn’t stupid. He gave his son to be an example to us. Christ’s life was an example and a lesson. By extension his family is an example and a lesson. There is a reason there was a mother, a father, commitment, praying, togetherness. There is a reason there was a struggle, sorrow, tragedy. There was a reason there was faith, perseverance, and redemption.