TODAY   |  February 08, 2013

To save her marriage, she wrote book on happy couples

Author Chrisanna Northrup wanted to save her own marriage, so she looked into what makes couples happy. After surveying almost 100,000 people, she wrote about the results in her book “The Normal Bar,” and found the happiest couples rank communication, friendship and sex the most fulfilling parts of their relationship.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a couple truly happy? "the normal bar" has the highlights from a survey.

>> the survey was inspired from a woman who wanted to save her own marriage and set out to find answers about what real couples may really look like. the results may make you blush, make you wonder if you really know the person lying in bed next to you.

>> so what do you think, should we have sex tonight?

>> uggh, sounds awful. i'm just really constipated. do you really want to?

>> well now.

>> reporter: if you can relate to this scene from the hit comedy "knocked up" you're not alone. but losing the romance in your marriage is no joke.

>> i just felt like we weren't really happy anymore. we were just survival mode instead of being happy.

>> reporter: this 41-year-old married mother of three says after 15 years of marriage, things were falling apart. khrysanna and her husband mark, were doing couples therapy . it wasn't working and she moved out.

>> i didn't want just we're okay. i wanted i'm happy. so i started out to search what were happy couples doing? what could we learn from them?

>> reporter: launching an online survey, gathering responses from almost 100,000 people around the world. her answers are revealed in her new book called "the normal bar." happiest couple ranks communication as the most fulfilling thing about their relationship. followed by friendship, affection and sex. parenting ranked dead last. in fact, khrysanna says it was at the root problem of her marriage.

>> i would rush and make him dinner every night. he said i don't care about dinner but when i walk in the door i do care about you giving me a big hug and a kiss. i thought that's easy. i'm off the hook.

>> reporter: she and mark began talking again as she compiled data for the book.

>> did this book save your marriage?

>> the concepts in the book saved our marriage for sure.

>> absolutely.

>> the book and the whole process of the book was pretty therapeutic for us and pretty fun for us.

>> and one of the steamier results from the survey, a majority of respondents said they want more fantasy in their relationship. in other words, more "fifty shades of grey" and less predictability.

>> that will entice everyone to stick around. you'll have more on "rock center with brian williams " i know tonight at