Why the happiness of your wife matters: Research

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When it comes to marriages, the more content the wife is, the happier the husband will be, so says a new research by Rutgers University and the University of Michigan.

“I think it comes down to the fact that when a wife is satisfied with the marriage she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life,” explained Deborah Carr, a professor in the Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Science at Rutgers University. “Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives.”

The team analyzed data from 394 couples involved in a larger-scale study on health and income who had been married 39 years on average, in which at least one of the spouses was over 60 years of age.

They were asked questions about their interaction as a couple: How much they argued, how much they understood each other and whether they felt appreciated by their spouse. Next, each couple was assigned to perform typical couple activities like watching TV or going shopping together and record their emotions in diaries for 24 hours.

Average ratings for life satisfaction in general were high, with husbands showing slightly more enthusiasm for their marriages than the wives.

“For both spouses being in a better-rated marriage was linked to greater life satisfaction and happiness,” noted researchers.