Marital bliss or blues may be inherited!

Human DNA may hold the key to whether a marriage is going to be a happy one or full of conflicts, a new study suggests.

A gene involved in the regulation of serotonin can predict how much our emotions affect our relationships, according the study that may be the first to link genetics, emotions, and marital satisfaction. "An enduring mystery is, what makes one spouse so attuned to the emotional climate in a marriage, and another so oblivious?" said University of California Berkeley psychologist Robert W Levenson.

"With these new genetic findings, we now understand much more about what determines just how important emotions are for different people," said Levenson, senior author of the study.

Researchers found a link between relationship fulfilment and a gene variant, or "allele," known as 5-HTTLPR. All humans inherit a copy of this gene variant from each parent. Participants with two short 5-HTTLPR alleles were found to be most unhappy in their marriages when there was a lot of negative emotion and most happy when there was positive emotion, such as humour and affection. By contrast, those with one or two long alleles were far less bothered by the emotional tenor of their marriages.

The new findings don't mean that couples with different variations of 5-HTTLPR are incompatible, the researchers note.

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