Scientists Found a Secret of Marital Happiness – It Depends on Genetics
When you are in love, you want to be with this person together forever. We fall in love for different reasons: attractiveness, rich inner world, funny character. But the main question is: why some couples are happy together during all life and others are in for divorce?
Researches from Yale School of Public Health are sure that the key reason for long-term marital happiness is genes of both spouses.
The scientists have tried to examine the role of genetic variation that affects oxytocin, which is a so-called hormone of happiness and helps people to intercommune more effectively.
178 married couples, ranging in age from 37 to 90 years old, participated in the research. The participants completed a survey about their marital happiness and satisfaction and provided a saliva sample for genotyping.
The researches recognized that a couple was more satisfied with marriage if at least one spouse had a special genetic variation – the GG genotype within the oxytocin gene receptor (OXTR rs53576).
This genotype is also responsible for emotional stability, empathy, sociability, and proper social behavior. People with such genotype also were less concerned about their past love affairs and could easily turn the page.
A group of researchers from Binghamton University came to the same conclusion regarding the influence of genes on the quality of family life.
They also focused on the OXTR gene impact in the research with 79 couples-participants. People were to discuss any problems not related to family life with their spouse, and then assess the degree of support when considering the issue.
The research has approved that the quality of marriage depends on genetic factors.
In turn, oxytocin affects the level of social support of a spouse, which is considered as an important pillar for a long-term family relationship.
It is interesting that certain genetic combinations are directly related to the behavior of spouses, and this relation is more consequential for men than for women.
But not only oxytocin could influence marital happiness.
Earlier researchers from the University of California (Berkeley) have found that the emotional satisfaction of a spouse in marriage depends on a gene, which regulates serotonin transmission in the brain.
The group, led by psychologist Robert Levenson, has worked with 156 middle-aged and older couples for more than 20 years since 1989. Each spouse told psychologists about the emotional side of marriage every five years.
25 participants donated their DNA samples, which enabled the authors to compare the genetic profile of the spouse with the stated level of satisfaction with marriage.
It was found that a stronger correlation between the emotional tone of communication with a spouse and claimed degree of satisfaction with marriage was peculiar to those people, who had inherited from each of the parents a shortened version of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR).
For such people, a good, warm relationship with the spouse is essential for happiness in all spheres of life.
But don’t get the jitters, it’s reported that genotype could influence your marital happiness only for 4%.
And even if this figure is significant in comparison with other genetic and environmental factors, the other 96 percents of success are only your common work upon marriage.
Do you believe in such results of the researches or suppose, that all is in your hands?