Name Something Significant That Contributes to Your Overall Happiness

Your Overall Happiness in marriage

Imagine being on Family Feud. Steve Harvey asks each of your family members, “Name something significant that contributes to your overall happiness.” One by one they answer…

We asked 100 adults: “Name something significant that contributes to your overall happiness.”

Friendships… BING
Career satisfaction… BING
Financial well-being… BING
Health… BING

Smart family. Each of these is on the board. But not the top answer. Steve turns to the final member of your family, “Name something significant that contributes to your overall happiness.” The response…

The quality of your marriage… BING

The top tile on the board rolls over!

The above game? Fiction. The data, factual. Here’s a peek behind the curtain.

Having spent a year looking at all the sociological, psychological, economic and historic data on marriage he could get his hands on, Northwestern University psychology professor Dr. Eli Finkel distilled his research to three key findings which he shared at TEDxUChicago.

Not Married?
Even if you’re not married at this point in your life, keep reading! The wisdom below will be a great help to you in the future when you are considering marriage. Also, we recommend this free eBook written by members of the DailyPS team.

#1. “The quality of your marriage is the single greatest predictor of your overall happiness in life.”

“If you want to predict people’s overall happiness with their life, you can’t do any better than to figure out how well their marriage is functioning. The marriage relationship matters twice as much in determining happiness as career satisfaction, friendships, financial well-being, or even health.”

#2. “Marriage expectations are at an all time high.”

“Americans today have elevated their expectations of marriage and can in fact achieve an unprecedentedly high level of marital quality – but only if they invest a lot of effort. And if they can’t, their marriage will be more disappointing to them than a humdrum marriage was to prior generations, because they’ve been promised so much more.”

Related Post: Marriage God’s way

What does Finkel mean when he says “promised so much more”? Think of it. Today we expect our partner to be our everything. Our romantic lover, best friend, life companion, confidant, co-parent, career advisor, financial partner, advocate, and so much more. It’s easy to understand why expectations have been set so high.

But what if these expectations are consistently met? You’ll most likely experience delight, growing desire, and a deep meaningful connection. But, if those expectations are chronically unmet? There will be disappointment, pain, disconnect, and further distancing.

#3. “Couples who invest a lot of time and energy in their partnership are seeing unprecedented benefits.”

It’s no longer a mystery. We know precisely what behaviors make a relationship work, as well as the behaviors that destroy them. In reality, every single one of your actions and attitudes is either building-up or tearing-down the structure of your marriage.  To illustrate, appreciation is a powerful way to build-up (“Thank you for working so hard today. The yard looks amazing!”). In contrast, criticism is a toxic tear-down (“What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you ever be on time?”).

The happiest of marriages are skilled in both insight and application. Insight – in that couples KNOW which behaviors build-up and which ones tear-down. Application – in that they focus on DOING what’s healthy and avoiding what’s toxic.

If you want a happy life you’ll build a high quality marriage. Click to Tweet

If you want a happy life you’ll build a high quality marriage. First, you’ll make your partner your priority. You’ll be intentional and proactive. You’ll invest the time, energy, effort, and money into becoming more equipped. Lastly, you’ll follow through by putting those insights and skills into action.

Want to intentionally strengthen your marriage/overall happiness?

To help you get started today, the DailyPS team is allowing me to share some resources with you. Here is a link to some free resources (

Written by Zach Brittle

Zach Brittle is the best-selling author of The Relationship Alphabet; a Gottman Certified Therapist with private practice in Seattle, WA; happily married husband to Rebecca for 19 of 20 years; father to Abi and Mari; and cofounder of, an online coaching platform dedicated to transforming marriages at a fraction of the cost of traditional therapy.

4 thoughts on “Name Something Significant That Contributes to Your Overall Happiness

  1. This is such a good post. Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to going through this course with my wife!

  2. “Couples who invest a lot of time and energy in their partnership are seeing unprecedented benefits.”

    Can’t agree with this more, especially being someone who is divorced, there is so much weight with investing in partnership. When a friendship is cultivated and nurtured the way it should be, the relationship aspect comes naturally. If time is not invested upfront, the foundation is not properly laid. Properly caring for others and investing time, prayer, emotions and energy into them shows that you are truly concerned for their life and their well-being. What could be more beautiful?

    ““so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”
    ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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