Study: happiness in marriage may be linked to genetics

When we speak the word marriage, it can be understood as an action linked to the tradition, religion, culture or beauty of the ceremony, for example.

But for lovers, the essential thing is to have love during the relationship. We can’t deny that the phrase is cute, can we?

So, this is where a new research published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE comes in , which revealed that in addition to love, happiness in marriage depends on a genetic variation present in the couple.

This is the OXTR rs53576, or called by scientists, the GG genotype, a variant of the hormone oxytocin that is important for the brain, whose function is related to the social connection between people.

Each participant did a kind of questionnaire about marital feelings and even satisfaction with the relationship.

According to the study, which looked at 178 couples between the ages of 37 and 90, the presence of the genotype in both people of the couple meant 4% more marital satisfaction.

Read more: Personality interferes in the amount of sex and children, says research

What is this genetic alteration?

This difference in DNA is a change that occurs within the oxytocin gene, a hormone produced by the hypothalamus.


This gene is also known as the “love hormone”, as it has an important action as a neurotransmitter, which is to regulate the behavior of social interaction.

For this reason, people’s behavior can be altered or influenced, too, by the presence of the gene, causing the ways of dealing with situations (and with the partner) to be affected as well.

How does the gene interfere with the happiness of marriage?

The OXTR rs53576 genotype is linked with greater security and less anxious attachment. That is, the person feels more secure and stable within the relationship, which, as a consequence, can reduce friction and affective conflicts.

And this is not just about loving or sexual relationships, but also about friendships and family ties.

In general, couples who had the genetic disorder reported feeling more satisfied and comfortable in their relationships.

Also according to the authors of this study, these findings may give rise to new studies in the future, which analyze more widely the results over the couple’s life.

Research like this is a pioneer in trying to explain how genetics imply their marital satisfaction and the ways that genetics can impact social relationships.