Opinion & Debate

Published on September 15th, 2014 | by Parenting Solo


Crazy relationship study of the year…

Forget relationships or marriages being a two-way street of give and take, mutual respect and er, dare we say it, love, a new study has found there is just one thing a man needs within wedlock to make his life better – a happy wife.

Amazingly, this has been determined by a recent study which found that the more ‘content’ the woman is within the relationship, the happier the husband is with his life (regardless of how he actually feels about their partnership as a whole).


One of the authors of the report, Professor Deboarah Carr from Rutgers university in New Jersey, said that this could be down to men’s lack of communication, leaving his wife unaware – and therefore unaffected – by any dissatisfaction:

“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,” she said, adding that ‘men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives’.

Researchers working on the study examined data on 394 couples.  At least one of the pair was 60 or older and, on average, they had been married for 39 years. The spouses were asked questions such as whether they felt appreciated by their partner,  if they understood their feelings, or if they got on their nerves. The couples were asked to keep a 24 hour diary detailing how they felt during the period, and what they were doing.  They were then asked to mark their general life satisfaction. Here, men tended to rate their marriage slightly more positively than their wives.

Professor Carr concluded that for ‘both spouses being in a better-rated marriage was linked to greater life satisfaction and happiness’.

Parenting Solo notes that the study actually seems to suggest little more than that men are generally too non-communicative to voice up when something is wrong, and are ‘happy’ and ‘content’ just as long as their partner/wife is not complaining about being unhappy… hmmm.

The full findings are reported in October’s Journal of Marriage and Family



About the Author

Parenting Solo

is an online resource for lone parents, offering news, debate, features and expert opinion. It is edited by journalist and broadcaster Kelly Rose Bradford.

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