It’s a pretty tough claim to make, but a study completed this summer and reported by The Economist in an article called “Faith and Faithfulness: Praying for Your Partner Stops You From Straying” suggests that prayer can indeed guide people away from adulterous behavior.
Researchers at Florida State University were attempting to discern why past research has concluded that couples who attend religious services are more satisfied and more faithful than couples who do not attend such services. They set out to explore links between prayer and fidelity, studying 83 individuals who were in romantic relationships, measuring their psychological levels of infidelity before and after the study.
Participants were assigned to one of four daily activities: praying for their partner’s wellbeing, engaging in undirected prayer, thinking about positive aspects of their partner, or reflecting on their day. After the four-week study period, the group who prayed for their partner’s wellbeing showed significant increases in their psychological levels of fidelity and belief that their relationship was sacred. These increases were significantly higher than those who used undirected prayer, who reflected on their day or who focused on positive aspects of their partner.
A follow-up study was done in which trained research assistants evaluated the commitment of the relationships based on observing couple interaction. (They did not know which of the four activities the couples had completed.) The research team found those who had prayed for their partner had higher commitment scores than those who thought positively about their partner.
The article concluded “people worried about potentially cheating spouses may find praying together a better safeguard against adultery than checking mobile-phone bills and scrutinizing credit card receipts—and one that builds trust rather than destroying it.”
Do you pray for your spouse? If so, what do you pray for? Do you think it has an impact on your relationship? What do you think of the study results?
Photo: ©Gina Smith/PhotoXPress.com
Posted in Communication, Family, Love, Marriage, Marriage Research, Relationships
Tagged improve marriage, prayer, prayer helps relationship, prayer in marriage, prayer prevents adultery, prevent infidelity, research on prayer
Continuing from my last post, which offered two recipes for a successful marriage, following are some very interesting facts about what sets the best marriages apart, according to sociologists as reported in Deseret News:
- The quality and openness of sex is more important than its frequency.
- 90% of couples who pray together report “very great” sexual satisfaction.
- Couples who agree on religious faith AND family finances double their chances of success.
- Most unhappy couples acknowledge their conflicts are of relatively recent origin and are short-term, not necessarily a precursor to divorce or infidelity.
- At any moment, fewer than one-fifth of couples are in the “falling in love stage.”
- At any moment, more than half of couples are “settling down” in their marriage.
- At any moment, one-fourth of couples, young and old, report they are “beginning again”—reviving the romance of their earliest years together.
I love that last fact! Have you thought about the need to “begin again” with your spouse—to revive the spark and refresh your romance on a regular basis? Every marriage will experience ebbs and flows. Perhaps now is a great time for you to invest more of your time and effort into your relationship. Cultivate romance.
Begin by thinking about why you married your spouse in the first place. Think about your wedding day and the feelings you shared. Reminisce with your spouse. List his or her positive traits if you need to, and focus on the positive aspects of your relationship. If you need some inspiration, check out 7 Small Things You can Do to Improve Your Marriage.
In which stage is your marriage? Do you agree with the social scientists or is every marriage unique?
Posted in Communication, Divorce, Family, Love, Marriage, Uncategorized
Tagged better marriage, how to have a great marriage, improve marriage, Love, prayer in marriage, prevent divorce, refreshing marriage, renewing marriage, romance tips, sexual satifaction, stages of marriage