Your DNA Might Be Able To Predict Something About Your Marriage

Something borrowed, something blue, something old, and something... genetic? As it turns out, recent scientific findings indicate that our DNA may play a helpful role in determining marital satisfaction in those first few years as newlyweds.

A study conducted by the University of Arkansas followed the marriages of 142 couples over the course of three years in an effort to understand whether the presence of certain genes makes it more or less difficult to sustain the joy of the "honeymoon phase" in those early years of marriage (via Science Daily). DNA was collected periodically with the first sample gathered at the three-month mark from the date of the "I Dos." 

Along with the issuing of regular surveys, researchers found that a gene linked highly with the trait of gratefulness was a variation of the gene CD38 called "CC." Those that were found to have the CC variant reported more positivity in their relationships. Those conducting the study stated in comparison to those without the gene, "CC individuals felt more grateful for their partner, reported higher trust in their partner, and were more forgiving of their partner."

Certain gene variants were found to be linked to increased levels of gratefulness and trust in marital relationships

The alternative gene that was studied was the "AC" or "AA" variant of the CD38 gene (via New York Post). University of Arkansas psychologist Anastasia Makhanova, one of the researchers leading the study, noted that one of the key factors associated with reports of marital satisfaction was time. She states, "After three years, everyone reported being less happy in their marriage than they were right after their weddings." Yet overall, it appeared that those with the CC variant maintained feelings of gratefulness that withstood the test of time more consistently than those with the AA or AC variant.

While these findings indicate a possible correlation between our genetic predisposition and happiness in one's marriage, it cannot be deemed as the sole cause of this connection. In an interview with the New York Post, relationship expert Susan Winter expressed how she thinks this connection may be more rooted in one's character traits rather than in their genetic makeup. She believes it's a partner's willingness to express gratitude and extend forgiveness that results in more marital satisfaction.

For those possessing the AC or AA variant of the gene, researchers provide encouragement saying that all are capable of sustaining long and happy marriages. Rather, there may just be some emotional areas that require a bit more conscious effort to keep healthy in the relationship.