Religiously matched couples can draw on resources that would not exist without that spiritual bone during times of conflict or stress. For example, they might choose to pause an argument to pray together, which many religion researchers describe as a valuable way to address hurt feelings.Share
"The best religious predictor of being happy in a relationship is praying together as a couple," said Brad Wilcox, who authored a recent analysis on minority couples and religion, to Christianity Today. "Taking your faith directly into the domestic sphere seems to reap real benefits for black and Latino couples."
Earlier studies support his conclusion, showing that joint prayer enables couples to focus on shared needs, rather than individual concerns. A strong religious foundation can also sustain relationships through dark periods, such as the aftermath of an affair, as the Deseret News reported in September. Couples who believe their connection is sanctified, or centered on God, seem to have more success than other pairings in overcoming these difficult situations.
"Couples who believe in sanctification share a sense of purpose that goes beyond shared hobbies, self-interest (and) procreation," the article said, paraphrasing Christopher Ellison, a distinguished professor of sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. "The couple may believe that God has a mission for their marriage, and perhaps even brought them together."
In general, shared religious beliefs enable couples to comfortably bring religion into their relationship, facilitating conversations that are more difficult for others. (Read more.)