Recipe for Happiness in China

Marriage Affects Women’s Happiness Most
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Marriage affects Chinese women’s happiness most, and women in their first marriage feel the happiest, according to the recently published 2006 Chinese Women’s Life Survey. The survey points out that 45.6 percent of respondents think their marriage is happy; about 20 percent show mutual respect with their husbands in daily life; 32 percent feel unromantic; and less than 2 percent describe their marriage as indifferent or painful.

The questionnaire counts the respondents’ scores based on 5 multiple-choice questions, namely extremely happy, happy, so-so, not very happy, and unhappy. The respondents’ general sense of happiness on life scored at 3.87, while the happiest women are those in their first marriage with the sense scoring at 3.92. Widows have the lowest sense of happiness with the average mark only being 3. Therefore, marriage life is the most important element influencing women’s quality of life.

( September 5, 2006

As a Positive Psychologist I was fascinated to see a research report about women from China.  The world has become so much smaller than it used to be!  Certainly,  marriage is a valuable institution, known throughout the world to have positive effects on people, when the marriage is good.

But my work as a Positive Psychologist is not the statistics of marriage.  Rather it is how to help two people find peace in harmony in a marriage that may already be feeling rocky and less than happy.   Here’s one recipe that often leds to good ‘cooking’ between a couple, when both are sincerely interested in saving the marriage.  As a therapist, I help my clients to see each other in a positive light.  That means I have to help each begin to appreciate the other again.  Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it is hard.   Often when we are angry and discouraged we begin to see each other in a less favorable light.  We become picky and argumentative.  Making a marriage work demands that each person really tries to give the other person a good grade on what he or she is doing, or at least an A for effort.

Posted in Positive Psychology.