- Sexual Intimacy
That’s according to a study (PDF) by the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project. The top two are no-brainers, but how high generosity ranks may be a little surprising. All the couples in the survey had kids, but the ones that said there was a lot of generosity in the marriage were five times more likely to say their marriage was very happy. And there was correlation between all three: couples who reported high amounts of generosity and commitment also said they were sexually satisfied.
From the report:
Generosity is defined here as “the virtue of giving good things to [one’s spouse] freely and abundantly,” and encompasses small acts of service (e.g., making coffee for one’s spouse in the morning), the expression of affection, displays of respect, and a willingness to “forgive him/her for mistakes and failings.” Husbands and wives who score high on the generosity scale—both in terms of giving and receiving in a spirit of generosity—are significantly more likely to report that they are “very happy” in their marriages and less prone to divorce.