Your Genes Play a Role in How Happy Your Marriage Is, New Study Suggests
Have scientists discovered a clue to the secret of a successful marriage?
There are a lot of things that contribute to a happy marriage: honesty, trust, communication, respect, chemistry, and a whole bunch of other intangible things. But what if we told you that the key to a successful union might lie somewhere much, much deeper?
Well, the results of a new study from Yale University professor Joan Monin and her team suggests that the success of your marriage might be influenced by your genetic makeup, in particular, a gene variation known as the GG genotype.
People with this gene variant, which impacts receptors for the “love hormone” oxytocin, are already known to show greater empathy, sociability and emotional stability. But apparently that’s not all it does. Monin’s analysis of DNA from 178 married couples revealed that when at least one partner had this magical GG genotype, the couple reported “significantly greater marital satisfaction and feelings of security within their marriage.”
Um, where do we sign up for that?
“This study shows that how we feel in our close relationships is influenced by more than just our shared experiences with our partners over time,” Monin said in a news release. “In marriage, people are also influenced by their own and their partner’s genetic predispositions.”
The researchers also found that people with the GG genotype reported less anxious attachment in their marriage, another benefit to their relationship. “Anxious attachment is a style of relationship insecurity that develops from past experiences with close family members and partners over the life course, and is associated with diminished self-worth, high rejection sensitivity, and approval-seeking behavior,” explained Monin.
You can take comfort in the fact that the GG genotype only accounts for about 4% of a couple’s overall marital satisfaction. The rest, it seems, is up to us!