Marriage can be one of the greatest blessings God can give to a human; you have a partner and friend who’s vowed not to leave you. But sometimes, adding layers of stress to a marriage relationship can leave both parties frazzled, worn-out, and unhappy.

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott have written the book Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood. Their goal was to prove that there is research (science) which proves that certain activities and habits (the art) affect spousal happiness within a marriage.

Dr. Leslie Parrott joined Ted and PK to talk about why couples’ happiness seems to depend on circumstance and how couples can learn to grow closer — and happier.

Dr. Parrott cites research by Dr. John Gottman, a Seattle-based marital researcher, which asserted that 75% of couples in the United States experience a decrease in happiness when children are introduced into a marriage. So what was the difference in the 25% who saw no change in marital happiness? Dr. Parrott says, “The fascinating thing that [Gottman] discovered was that they continued to have, what he called, ‘cognitive space’ in their brain to truly know the nuances of their spouse.”

Dr. Parrott says that Gottman’s research proves that actually taking the time and effort to get to know your spouse, no matter what stressors enter your life, will result in increased  or sustained happiness.

This is just one of the many stories of research Dr. Leslie Parrott shares with Ted and PK on Faith Radio Mornings. You can hear the full interview below:

Leslie Parrott

Here’s the trailer for the book:

Les and Leslie. A husband-and-wife team who not only share the same name, but the same passion for helping others build healthy relationships. In 1991, the Parrotts founded the Center for Relationship Development on the campus of Seattle Pacific University – a groundbreaking program dedicated to teaching the basics of good relationships.

Photo: flickr

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