Secret to a Happy Marriage? Just Do It

“What’s your secret?”

It’s an all-too-common question asked to senior couples by their younger counterparts when it comes to advice for building a long, happy marriage.  Luckily for the newlyweds, science may have just the answer they’re looking for.

According to new research, the solution may be as simple as keeping things hot under the covers.

The study, based on 2004 General Social Surveys, found that senior couples 65 years and older who had a healthy sex life were happier than those who took part in little to no sexual activity. While the findings may seem obvious, they offer valuable insight into issues that arise when dealing with sexual activity in an older demographic.

“This study will help open the lines of communication and spark interest in developing outside-the-box approaches to dealing with resolvable issues that limit or prevent older adults from participating in sexual activity,” Adrienne Jackson, a researcher and professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, said.

For the purposes of the research, the term sex included oral, vaginal or anal. The study included 238 married participants over the age of 65.

The resulting data shows a 20 per cent difference in the level of satisfaction in life between participants who said they had not had sex in the previous year (40%) and those who had sex more than once a month (60%). When asked about how happy they were with their marriage, the results were quite similar: 80 per cent of those who had sex often agreed that they were happy with their marriage, while only 59 per cent of those who hadn’t had sex in the previous year said the same.

Researchers hope the study results offer an opportunity for opening the lines of communication among seniors regarding questions or concerns they may have about pursuing a more vibrant sex life.

“Highlighting the relationship between sex and happiness will help us in developing and organizing specific sexual health interventions for this growing segment of our population,” Jackson said.

The research couldn’t conclusively say whether older couples with active sex lives were happier, or if happier couples just tended to partake in more sexual activity. Regardless, the statistics are quite striking. It seems that, as far as long successful marriages go, happiness may just start in the bedroom.

For further information on this study and related topics, click here.