Have you ever wondered what the key is to a happy elder married couple? While no two marriages are alike, research suggests that all happy, long-lasting marriages have five common characteristics: communication, commitment, kindness, acceptance, and love. Communication is the number one trait of long-lasting marriages, according to a Cornell University study. The researchers polled nearly 400 Americans aged 65 and over who had been married or in a romantic relationship for at least 30 years. The majority of the participants agreed that open communication could solve the majority of marital issues. Similarly, several of the individuals whose marriages had ended blamed the failure of their relationship on a lack of communication. Couples that communicate well preserve their closeness and intimacy. Couples that have been married for a long time communicate to each other without lying, accusing, blaming, dismissing, or disparaging each other. They don’t put up barriers, become passive aggressive, or call each other names. The happiest couples aren’t concerned with who is to blame because they see themselves as a unit; whatever affects one half of the marriage affects the other, and what matters most to these couples is that their relationship is healthy. Researchers from Cornell University discovered that a sense of commitment is a major element in long-lasting marriages in the same study. Researchers discovered that rather than viewing marriage as a passion-based union among the elderly they polled, they perceived it as a business arrangement.