Happiness Secrets for Imperfect Couples
We weren't exactly blown away by the recent findings of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, which said your odds of staying together are best if your parents are still married, you wait to have kids until after you tie the knot, believe in God, make at least ,000 year, and have a college degree. So the Huxtables are safe, but what about the rest of us? We found out why these things matter, and howanypair can make it to their 50th anniversary.
Build a support team.
"Couples with married parents or who are part of a religious community have support systems that encourage them to work issues out," says Laurie Puhn, author of . But you can create a similar network by surrounding yourselves with happily married couples. "Friends can have just as strong an influence as family or a religious group," she says.
"Couples who marry before having children learn how to deal with obstacles before the added stress of parenthood sets in," Puhn says. The key to staying together pre- and post-kids? "Learn skills for when things get tough by going to therapy, reading books, or attending relationship classes," says Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of . "I've seen struggling couples become happy partners just by learning the healthiest ways to cope."
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