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Why you and your partner should socialize together

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By connecting to others socially as a couple, rather than as individuals, married men and women can avoid certain financial and other stresses, says new research headed up by the University of Georgia's College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

The togetherness aspect of socializing was so important that the authors used italics on the word "our" in the study's title: "With a Little Help from Our Friends: Couple Social Integration in Marriage." It was published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

Not all couples survive. The U.S. Census Bureau this week released a report on "Remarriage in the United States" that shows while 52 percent of ever-married American adults have said "I do" just once, for 17 percent the knot has been re-tied at least once and sometimes more.

The Washington Post summarized the findings of a new Census report with six graphs on the state of marriage in America. Among the findings, based on American Community Survey data from 2008-2012: Folks in the South and West are more likely to remarry than those in the Northeast and Midwest. And the most common "repeaters" are non-Hispanic whites.

As for the Georgia couples study on strengthening marriage, "Researchers studied whether spouses’ reports of the social integration of their marriage offset declines in marital happiness associated with financial distress and residing in more urban areas," according to background material. They found that social integration as a couple offered some protection in both scenarios.

Both living in urban centers and experiencing financial pressure put some strain on a marriage and lower marital satisfaction, said lead author Allen Barton, a postdoctoral researcher for the center. “However, this association only occurred for marriages with low levels of couple social integration. Those couples (studied) who maintained high level of couple social integration reported no declines in marital happiness, even if they had high financial distress or lived in more urban areas.”

When couples jointly participate in community programs and interactions, though, they're somewhat bucking a growing trend in America, according to the study. It cited research showing decline in "both social involvement and communal ties" for both couples and individuals.

Such interactions create a network that supports the "couple" aspect of the marital partnership, making it stronger.

Email: lois@deseretnews.com, Twitter: Loisco