Is the old saying true? 242



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Science confirms what we all thought was true: happy wife, happy life! A wife’s happiness is more important to her husband’s – can you believe it?

A study of over 60s (married for an average of 39 years) by Rutgers University has found that the more content a wife is in a marriage, the happier the husband is with his life. While this might seem obvious to many hubbies out there, now there’s actual evidence to back up what they’ve been saying for years!

When a wife is satisfied with the marriage, she tends to do a lot more for a husband, in turn making him happy, says Professor Deborah Carr, co-researcher in the study. So why can’t it be the other way around? “Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives”. I’m sure plenty of our readers can relate to that – how many of us have had a partner who didn’t speak up when something was bothering them? Communication is always key and women are simply better at it.

Previous studies were different to this more comprehensive research, as personal feelings of both spouses were examined, with a total of 394 couples analysed.

A series of questions were asked, such as whether their spouse appreciates them, argues with them, understands their feelings or gets on their nerves. What would you say if you were asked those questions?
The participants also kept diaries so they could be assessed on their marital quality.

Surprisingly, husbands rated their marriage more positively than their wives did, and the higher the rating, the better life satisfaction for the couple.

Spousal sickness inevitable causes unhappiness but interestingly wives were less happy than their husbands when their partner fell ill, which is largely due to wives doing the caregiving, which can be stressful, says Carr. When a woman becomes ill, her children are more likely to take care of her instead of her husband, according to the study.

This study is an important reminder that having a happy and fulfilling marriage has many benefits, particularly our health as we age. Deborah Carr said, “it provides a buffer against the health-depleting effects of later life stressors and helps couples manage difficult decisions regarding health and medical decision making”.

I’ve also found some vintage advice from The Wives’ Book: For the wife who’s best at everything by Alison Maloney: “A woman asking ‘Am I good? Am I satisfied’ is extremely selfish. The less women fuss about themselves, the less they talk to other women, the more they try to please their husbands, the happier the marriage is going to be”. Is that true?


What do you think? Is it happy wife, happy life? Or do husbands hold the key to a successful marriage? What is your secret to a long relationship? Tell us your thoughts!

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

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