Countless numbers of people have expressed astonishment at the fact that Bill and I have run a business together for 10 years and spend almost every waking hour together. “I’d end up killing him,” is the comment I’ve heard often. Although we have our moments like any other couple, I have long thought that working together at FunQuilts has made our marriage stronger.
At last research is bearing out what I’ve been saying. The 2009 State of Our Unions, report issued by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Institute for American Values has released a list of five factors that correlate to marital bliss. Number One is “Make Your Own Homemade Goods.” Seriously?
Researchers claim that making things together results in partners having “a sense of solidarity.” Partners can garden together, cook together, share a craft or engage in some other aspect of the home economy. The strengthening of the bonds by making homemade goods also applies between parents and children, according to the research. “In short, the family that makes together stays together,” claims the report. As a family whose 1996 Honda wagon just hit 100,000 miles, I was heartened to read that research shows that thrifty couples are generally the happiest.
If you think about it this would also explain the strong social bonds among people in knitting circles, quilting guilds and other craft-centered social groups.
The other factors on the list are also interesting: having the woman take control of the family’s financial decisions (women make less risky financial decisions than men, according to the researchers), having a college education, paying off credit card debt and having the male work as many or more hours than the female. (Hey, I’m just reporting the research.)
Do you make things with your spouse, significant other or kids? Or is your making time “your” time? What effect do you think making things together has on a relationship?