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Keywords:

  • generosity;
  • marital quality;
  • relationship maintenance behavior

This study examined whether generosity in marriage was associated with marital quality. The authors conceptualized generosity as a type of relationship maintenance behavior and used data from the new Survey of Marital Generosity (a national survey of married couples, N = 1,365 couples and 2,730 total participants). They found that generosity—defined here as small acts of kindness, displays of respect and affection, and a willingness to forgive one's spouse his or her faults and failings—was positively associated with marital satisfaction and negatively associated with marital conflict and perceived divorce likelihood.