Wife's Happiness Is More Important Than Husband's For A Lasting Relationship, Study Finds

Wife's Happiness Is More Important Than Husband's For A Lasting Relationship, Study Finds
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It may just sound like a bias opinion, but the idea ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ does, in fact, hold some real validity. And while men and women alike have jokingly (and sometimes not so jokingly) suspected this theory for a long time, the truth has now been unveiled. As weird facts may have it, research now shows that a wife’s happiness could be more important than a husband’s in order to sustain a lasting relationship.

The Vitality Of A Wife’s Happiness

A study performed by Rutgers University found that a wife’s happiness is more vital than that of her husband’s in keeping a marriage happy and healthy. The study which surveyed older couples married for an average of 39 years concluded that the happier a wife is in the relationship, the happier the husband is with his life regardless of what he feels or even thinks about the relationship itself. (1)

As there has yet to be any evidence to support the other way around, professor of sociology at Rutgers, Deborah Carr, explained why she believes the theory of this unbalanced dynamic rings true within marriages. “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.” Because men tend to be less vocal within their relationships, Carr points out that wives may not always notice dissatisfaction that their husbands may be experiencing in their marriage.

This study allowed men an out-of-norm experience where they were forced to display their feelings through the study’s journaling and reflective assignments. Questions regarding if husbands or wives appreciated the other and if they argued or irritated one another were used to determine the marital quality the couple shared. The 394 couples were asked to keep specific diaries detailing their thoughts as well as self-assessing their own happiness based on the previous 24 hours.

The Results Of The Study

Carr and her associates found results that were as surprising as the theory itself. Results gathered that participants had a general overall higher life satisfaction rating than average, with husbands rating their own satisfactions slightly higher than their wives. The study also showed wives became significantly unhappy when their spouses got sick, while the husband’s happiness levels didn’t change when the opposite was true.

Like in past research, this study allows us to further analyze how a healthy marriage can affect our physical and mental health. Previous studies have even explored how unhealthy relationships can lead to a deterioration of health. The Journal of Health and Social Behavior studied the link between strained marriages and cardiovascular diseases and depression, amongst others. (2)

From this study, Carr was also surprised to learn that women in these long-term marriages rated their own happiness lower than their spouses rated their own individual happiness. Carr noted that research of this study consistently showed that happier wives also seemed to help out their husbands more, which in turn resulted in an overall positive effect in the lives of their husbands. “For both spouses being in a better rated marriage was linked to greater life satisfaction and happiness,” Carr states.


Overall, women who experience satisfaction from their marriages are more likely to have happier and healthier husbands. Understanding that communicating our feelings to our partner can ultimately lead to the balance of happiness on both ends, wives should encourage their husbands to get vulnerable! Open up more to one another about concerns or issues that may come up within your relationship and see what it can do for your overall marriage.

What are your thoughts on these studies? Share with us, we’d love to hear from you.

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