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The benefits of a long marriage


Narrator:       This is Science Today. Can spouses get along better if they simply refer to themselves using what's called "we-ness" language — that is, pronouns such as "we,"  "our" and "us." A University of California, Berkeley, study found couples who use such language have a better shot at resolving conflicts. Additionally, Benjamin Seider, co-leader of the study, says older couples identified more as "we" than did their middle-aged counterparts.

Seider:            It seems as though, one of the things that happens in late life is that individuals tend to narrow their social networks and they tend to favor fewer, more intimate relationships. And as accordingly, the marital relationship can become increasingly prominent in terms of the lives of an older individual.

Narrator:       Seider says one of the next steps is to understand how ‘we-ness' language may be manipulated to help couples.

Seider:            So, is it just enough to change your language or do you really need to change how you're thinking about the relationship, what your identities are as a couple and that's something I'm looking forward to understanding in the future.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.