"What we saw over a long period of time is that if one spouse changed in terms of increasing happiness, the other spouse's happiness would go up," MSNBC quoted Christiane Hoppmann, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia said.
The 6,000 individuals were studied and tapped for insights into their life satisfaction, personality, and health issues.
"Right now, we know that happiness is tied in marital relationships. But we don't know yet whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. We can't tell if one spouse lifts up the other when there's trouble or whether one spouse drags the other down. It could be both."
"What we've shown is that when you ask people about their happiness, you need to involve significant others, meaningful others who share important experiences, who live at the same place, who might be stressed by similar stressors," said Hoppmann.
Hoppmann said, while her study solely focused on long-term married couples, she was curious what her findings might mean with regard to people who has divorce or who stays single.
"We've looked at a certain group of individuals who happen to be long-term married and this is what we found. But it's only the first piece of the puzzle. It's quite possible that this phenomenon could happen in friendships or with individuals who share a lot of joint experiences. But it's pure speculation at this point," Hoppmann said.
The study is published in the latest issue of the American Psychological Association's journal Developmental Psychology.