Your success could depend on who you put a ring on…
By Alexia McKay
Familiar with the phrase, “you are who you hang out”? Well, the same goes for who you marry as well. According to a study published from Carnegie Mellon University, people with “supportive spouses were more likely to take on potentially rewarding challenges.” Researchers say these couples experienced “more personal growth, happiness, psychological well-being, and better relationship functioning months later.”
The study analyzed 163 married couples and give each couple either a “simple puzzle” or an opportunity to compete for a prize. Their interactions were recorded, and the study found that spouses with “more encouraging partners were substantially more likely to decide to compete for the prize, while those with partners who discouraged them or expressed a lack of confidence more often chose the simple puzzle.”
“We found support for the idea that the choices people make at these specific decision points—such as pursuing a work opportunity or seeking out new friends—matter a lot for their long-term well-being,” said Brooke Feeney, the lead author of the study. “Significant others can help you thrive through embracing life opportunities,” said Feeney. “Or they can hinder your ability to thrive by making it less likely that you’ll pursue opportunities for growth.”
The study outlines three key steps on how a person could push their spouse to entertain new endeavors:
- Express enthusiasm about an opportunity
- Reassure your partner
- Discuss the potential benefits of taking on a new role or challenge.
Psychology Today lists seven qualities to a long-term, successful relationship:
- Intimacy compatibility ( physical, emotional and intellectual)
- The type of character your spouse brings out in you ( does he/she bring more of the bad or good side from you)
- How your partner deals with conflict ( keep to themselves? do they fight? talk it out?)
- Views on financial and family values
Several power couples have credited their success to their spousals, starting with our Former President Barack Obama, who calls First Lady Michelle, his forever first lady.
“Obviously I couldn’t have done anything that I’ve done without Michelle,” Mr. Obama told Oprah in a 2011 interview. “You were asking earlier what keeps me sane, what keeps me balanced, what allows me to deal with the pressure. It is this young lady right here… Not only has she been a great first lady, she is just my rock. I count on her in so many ways every single day.”
“I also want to thank Michelle Obama for after the presidency sticking with me,” he said during his acceptance speech for the 2017 Profile in Courage award. “Because I think she felt an obligation to the country to stay on. But once her official duties were over, it wasn’t clear. I love my wife. And I’m grateful for her. And I do believe that it was America’s great good fortune to have her as first lady.”
In her best-selling autobiography, Becoming, Michelle shares how her husband motivated her during their early days.
In 2018, Beyoncé and Jay-Z released a joint album called “Everything Is Love.” The entire album documents the Carters’ shared stories of success and reconciliation following infidelity scandals that rocked their marriage the year before.
“The music suggests, is their shared success,” an LA Times writer described the album in a review, “the certainty, in other words, that neither could ever find another partner capable of pulling such weight. If their accomplishments unite them, though, they also emphasize their rare standing; the multi-act narrative they’ve spun over the last two years goes beyond their particulars to address the state of African American ambition.
Beyoncé has frequently given kudos to her husband for being extremely supportive f her career and helping her on “on so many levels.”
“I would not be the woman I am if I did not go home to that man,” Beyonce once said in a 2013 interview. “It just gives me such a foundation.”
By Alexia McKay