I have been challenged today by a new study and I’m committing today to be a 5 to 1 husband!

Statistics on marriage scare me, but the Studer Group has released a new study on “Compliment to Criticism” ratio. They’ve told us from their studies that people in general need 3 compliments given for every 1 criticism said to them. While that didn’t surprise me, this did: Their reports also showed that in marriage if you have a 5 to 1 compliment to criticism ratio, the divorce rate in that marriage drops from 50% to 7%. DID YOU CATCH THAT husbands and wives? We are now learning how to beat the old statistic that says that 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. How? Give 5 compliments to your spouse for every 1 negative thing you say. When you take on the 5 to 1 plan, the divorce rate in your marriage drops to 7%. I like those odds!

My goal is to become a 5 to 1 kind of spouse, and I plan on starting today. Before the day is out I will give Lea five genuine compliments. I’m sure she’s going to wonder what I did, what I want or what I’m up to! :)

You up for today’s challenge with your spouse? I’m curious to see what kind of responses we’ll get!

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
18 Comments Post a Comment
  1. blogprophet says:

    wow. that is cool to know.
    and i am starting pre-marital counseling tonight with a couple. I will share that.


  2. preacherman says:

    I want to thank you for your challenge of not cricizing. It is so easy to hurt the ones you love and I have learn that once you say those words of hate and revenge you can’t take them back.

    God help me control my words.
    Let me love and treat my wife with love and respect. Help he to be a better husband. Amen.

    Thank you Trey.
    Keep up the great posts and blogging. You are such a blessing in so many lives.
    Your brother in Christ,
    Kinnney Mabry

  3. Anonymous says:


    You and i have it real easy on this 5 to 1 challenge. Not hard for us to find compliments for our ladies, REALLY going to be a challenge for the girls! Ha! Something we should do daily so they always know that they are appreciated. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. bikegirl2 says:

    When I worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist one of my favorite things to do with a couple was this:

    Each person fills out on a piece of paper 3 to 5 sentences that all start “I feel loved when _______.” The statement has to be positive and measurable. You can do it on a grid and when you feel one of those things during the day you mark it. This allows you to state something you appreciate that maybe your spouse isn’t aware of and it also allows you to show your spouse that you are noticing these things when they do them. Examples: I feel loved when husband gets the kids up. I feel loved when wife fixes my lunch. I feel loved when husband puts dishes in the sink. I feel loved when wife watches a few minutes of TV with me.

    As you get the hang of it you add more sentences. Some couples will even do a public list and a private list.

  5. TREY MORGAN says:

    bikegirl – good stuff!

  6. Haley says:

    As long as you only complain once you can get by with 5 compliments, but make sure you count your complaints because for each one she gets 5 compliments!

  7. Brie says:

    I think this is true because we love our spouses so much- I care much more about Kyle’s opinion than I do about the opinion of someone I don’t care about as much. Who cares if someone you’re not close to criticises you? But if it’s someone you love, we (at least me) tend to dwell on those.

    I’ll be sure to let Kyle know all the nice things I think about him that sometimes just stay in my head. :)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Do you think it will help me win my ex-wife back? I am willing to try anything..

    Steve in AZ

  9. Anonymous says:

    Morgan. good approach! – I think I am going to put those into practice. Zach

  10. That Girl says:

    I don’t have a spouse but I am NOT opposed to getting 5 genuine compliments a day! :)

  11. a husband says:

    Very interesting! Thanks for this. I’m going to go ahead and link to this from my site.

  12. doug young says:


    Do you think the 5 to 1 compliment ratio will help gain us some sympathy for our aches and pains of running and riding?

  13. TREY MORGAN says:

    Haley … you’re making it hard on us. But you’re right.

    Brie … I know that Kyle will appreciate hearing those things.

    Gord … Glad you’re up for the challenge. I love the though of adding your kids to the list. I have no doubt that they get way more cut-downs everyday than compliments. You are 100% correct!

    Steve … Sure wouldn’t help. But hang in there buddy. I think about you often!

    Doug … I’m not sure “those women” will ever give us sympathy for our aches and pains. They keep playing the “pregnancy card!” Ouch!

  14. Greg says:

    Janice would start looking around the house for the new guitar she’s certain I’d purchased! Actually, we’ve practiced this for most of our marriage. Very seldom do we criticize others … as we’re getting older, though, we do it more because we can’t seem to remember what the other one has said or done so you’ve given me a good reminder / challenge!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great challenge Trey! I know it has to be better than the way I sometimes do it. Julene deserve at least double the 5, she is a sweety! Yknow, that will work in all our relationships as well. I can see a co-worker being blown away because of the change in me. Keep on encouraging us brother. Remember, YOU ARE LOVED! Eddie

  16. David Kirk says:

    Very good!

  17. nick gill says:

    TREY! You shouldn’t have to give any compliments at all!

    What on earth could you possibly have to complain about with the awesome coolness of Lea?

    Do we still have to compliment if we just stop complaining? :)

  18. Margaret Cross says:

    compliments are the “glue” that helps hold it all together. the eyes are the window to the soul. so a compliment that shines all the way from the soul to the eyes can’t be beat!

    criticism is also a part of holding it together in that if the other person is repeatedly doing something that is driving you nuts, you better let them know–not doing so only builds resentment. but if you must criticize…use the “I” approach instead of the attack “you” approach. i.e. if he/she is spending too much of the monthly budget on clothes. the “I” approach: “I would like to see more of our money being spent on (whatever) rather than on clothing expenses. Attack “You” approach: “You always spend too much money on clothes every month.”

    The “I” approach can get the criticism voiced without near the destruction. We are human and we don’t have positive feelings all the time about our partners. Being able to voice the negatives in a constructive way is healthy for a marriage i think. But don’t let it get off balanced.

    And above all, always avoid the phrase, “I love you, but….”

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
  • good list. Don't forget Nickelback, OJ, ISIS and beer-throwing Blue Jay fans.
  • He was pretty tough to listen to as well.
  • As crazy as it might sound, Chris Collinsworth just might be worse to listen to than the song Christmas Shoes.
  • Please remember that some Christmas music is incredibly offensive to people with grandmothers who actually were run over by reindeer.
  • Unfortunately, not a great night for "bobcats." :)

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