For me, I could tell because of my library book.” Colleen told Mary. They were having a conversation about an eye-opening article in the NY Times Magazine, “The Generous Marriage.” Colleen knows she has a good marriage. Mary… not so much.

A recent study discovered there’s one thing couples in a good marriage all share: Generosity. It’s little things, like making coffee for your mate, or doing small favors cheerfully. In Colleen’s case, her husband returns a library book on his way to work. Sadly for Mary, her husband would do no such thing. He’s stingy with his time, money, and kindness.

Researchers observed the behavior of the happiest married couples and found they are more generous in three different ways:

1. Kindness
2. Affection
3. Forgiveness

Sounds pretty basic, but ask anyone who doesn’t have it and they’ll tell you— it makes a big difference. Happy couples, kiss, hug and hold hands more often. They go out of their way to please their partner. And even though they may fight as much as any other married couple, they forgive easily.

How does this translate to other relationships in your life? Are you generous in kindness, affection and forgiveness with your kids, your folks, and your best friend? What about God? When you pray, do you approach God with praise (kindness), love (affection) and understanding (forgiveness)?

Learn from the example of the happiest married couples. Be the one to initiate unexpected generosity with your loved one. Generosity is contagious – spread it.

Find Out Your Relationship Generosity Score,

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