When the wife is not happy, nobody is happy.
According to one study, the wife’s happiness is more important for a successful marriage than the happiness of the husband. Because, when the wife is content, the husband is also happier with his life.
“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. Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives,” said Deborah Carr, a professor in the Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Science.
The study included 394 married couples with one spouse being at least 60-years-old. Most of the couples had been married for approximately 40 years.
Each spouse had to keep a journal and answer detailed questions about their marriage, such as how often they argue with their partner and got on each other’s nerves and whether or not their spouse appreciates them. The researchers recorded their answers based on the last 24 hours.
They found that the wives rated their happiness in their marriages typically with 5 out of 6 points and the husbands rated their happiness even higher.
Also, the researchers discovered that while the wives became stressed and less happy when their husbands got sick, there was no change in the happiness levels in the husbands when their wives became ill.
“We know that when a partner is sick it is the wife that often does the caregiving which can be a stressful experience,” said Carr. “But often when a woman gets sick it is not her husband she relies on but her daughter.”
This study is important because the quality of the marriage can seriously affect the health and well-being of spouses as they get older.
Image : Runar Vestli