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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Randee Dawn

We all know (or hopefully know) that the three words that are important in keeping your relationship strong are "I love you." But there are two other words that a new study says are key to a happy marriage.

Scientists at Georgia University asked 468 married people questions about their partner and their relationship, and found that gratitude is the best predictor of how happy someone is in a marriage.

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"It goes to show the power of 'thank you,'" study author Allen Barton told The Daily Mail. Barton is a postdoctoral research associate at UGA's Center for Family Research.

"Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital incomes," he continued.

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Saying "thank you" also could help mitigate damage caused from arguments.

"It highlights a practical way couples can help strengthen their marriage, particularly if they are not the most adept communicators in conflict," Barton said.

Clearly, it can be easy to take one another for granted. But being grateful shows you're aware that your partner deserves appreciation.

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"All couples have disagreements and argue," said Ted Futris, an associate professor at Georgia University. "What distinguishes the marriages that last from those that don't is not how often they argue, but how they argue and how they treat each other on a daily basis."

You're welcome.

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