"You cannot find a soulmate," relationship expert Belinda Luscombe says

"Marriageology": Tips for a lasting marriage

It's well known that love, respect and trust are all crucial components for a strong marriage, but a new book suggests that science plays an important role, too.

Belinda Luscombe, author of "Marriageology: The Art and Science of Staying Together," shared what her research reveals about what can help strengthen a relationship. 

One of Luscombe's major findings may come as a surprise: She says you'll never meet your soulmate.


"You cannot find a soulmate," she said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning." "The search for a soulmate is like searching for the only one pair of trousers that would make you happy."

"You become a soulmate. Eharmony and all of the pop love songs and the movies, they suggest that it's all about, 'I wasn't anyone until I found you and you completed me.' That's not how it happens," she added. "You find somebody and you figure out how to get on with them and you become each other's soulmate as you learn them, as you get better at understanding them, as you get better at loving them."

One of the best ways to facilitate this, she said, is thanking your partner. That keeps spouses from feeling "taken for granted," she said, and helps them "feel noticed and seen."

It changes your perspective, too: "If you look for things to thank them for, it means you can't be taking them for granted, and you can't be resentful or become contemptuous and that's the biggest problem," she added.   

Luscombe also offered guidelines for when fights do inevitably happen. "When you're fighting, try to never say, 'you always' or 'you never.' Because then people feel under attack," she said. "And then they get defensive, and then the wheels come off the bus. It's much better to simply start with, 'I'm having a problem with,' or 'I find it difficult when.'"

She also suggested that going to bed angry isn't so bad, after all. "I think it's important not to fight tired," she said. "We have learned this from toddlers. This is when they have tantrums, when they're tired. Go to bed angry. Everything seems simpler and clearer in the morning."

"Should you put a fight on hold?" asked "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King.

"You can put a fight on hold if you say 'I can't talk about this right now, but I want to come back to it,' and then you have a history of coming back to it," Luscombe responded. "Sometimes it's good to put a fight on hold, but you can't just say I can't deal with this."

"I admire how you talked about your husband," King said, after "CBS This Morning" co-host Tony Dokoupil pointed out that Luscombe's been married for more than 28 years. "You said, 'I guarantee you, no matter how great your marriage is, there will come a day when no matter what they do, it just enrages you beyond reason.'"

"That's familiarity for you," Luscombe responded. "You can't have family without it."