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Learning to “fight better” is a common theme in couple’s therapy. Don’t use the phrase “you always…” stick to the issue at hand, and by all means avoid saying anything negative about the other person’s mother.

Less focused upon and, in fact, a more effective strategy is learning how to celebrate one another. According to research, how we respond to our loved one’s good news is a better predictor of relationship quality than how couples handle disagreements.

In her research, Shelly Gable, professor of psychology at the University of California, demonstrates the benefits of responding with enthusiasm and support when a partner shares good news.

For example, imagine Maria comes home from her job as an associate at a law firm and excitedly tells her husband that she has been assigned to be the lead lawyer on a big case. Her husband might respond in one of the four following…

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