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Expressing gratitude to your partner might be the single best way to maintain a high-quality marriage, new research has found.
Saying "thank you" and showing appreciation can act as an effective buffer to divorce and dictate how committed partners feel in their relationship, according to researchers at University of Georgia.
Feelings of gratitude can also counteract the impact of conflict and negative encounters, they said.
"It goes to show the power of 'thank you,'" the study's lead author, Allen Barton, a former doctoral student in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and current postdoctoral research associate at UGA's Center for Family Research, said in the journal Personal Relationships.
"Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes."