ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – Childless couples have happier marriages, says a new study.

Researchers at the Open University in the United Kingdom interviewed and surveyed over 5,000 people and found that men and women without children are more satisfied with their relationships; they are also more likely to feel valued by their partner. The participants included people of all ages, statuses, and sexual orientation.

“Saying ‘thank you’ and giving compliments emerged as one of the most important factor in keeping a relationship healthy across all groups,” the researchers noted in the study.

Researchers also found that women without children were the least happy with life overall, however they did find that mothers were happier than any other group.

The researchers were also able to determine that people who had been in a long-term relationship before were more likely to know how to sustain their next one.

“This is a shift away from the idea that they are just failed relationships to be put in a cupboard and forgotten about,” Dr. Jacqui Gabb, a senior lecturer in social policy at the Open University and lead author on the study told the Daily Telegraph. “It shows they have learnt something through them, therefore it can be an enriching experience.”

The one big difference researchers found between men and women were that mothers more twice as likely to say their children are the most important person in their lives while fathers said it was their partner.

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