I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that there is new research from Stony Brook University supporting marriages that stay passionate decades after a couple has uttered their vows. According to a McClatchy-Tribune article by Ridgely Ochs, researchers studied the brains of 17 people that had been married an average of 20 years. According to Ochs, “they found that their MRIs showed activity in the same regions of the brain as those who had just fallen in love.” The study actually found an advantage to the longer-term relationships. The brains of those persons married for 20-plus years showed less anxiety and obsessiveness. (Yeah!)

Now the bad news. Here are a few of the common denominators found in those passionate, long-term relationships, according to Arthur Aron, social psychologist at Stony Brook University (you’re not going to like this list):

  • The couple is not facing terrible “external stressors,” such as war or the loss of a child.
  • One partner is not highly depressed or anxious. (Yikes!)
  • Both know how to communicate with each other. (I KNOW HOW TO COMMUNICATE!)
  • The couple does new challenging things together. (Does this include Facebook?)
  • When one partner is successful, the other celebrates the success. (See my article on jealousy.)
Well, that gives me plenty of things to work on!

To read more Beyond Blue, go to http://blog.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.

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