What makes married men ultimately satisfied? A study reveals that it’s largely dependent on how happy their wives are.
According to a study conducted by Rutgers University and University of Michigan, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, men tended to be much happier when their wife’s level of marriage satisfaction is higher than they personally would rate it.
On the other hand, when the husbands are happier with the marriage, the wives would tend to feel just slightly happier.
The survey’s findings were drawn from a survey of 394 couples, married for an average of 38.5 years. At least one of the spouses per couple was at least 60 years old. They were asked to answer questions pertaining to whether their spouse appreciates them, if they argue or fight, if the other understands his or her emotions, and the like. They were also made to keep diaries and to write notes about how happy they were in the past 24 hours doing certain tasks or chores like shopping or watching TV.
Generally, it was the men who rated their level of marital satisfaction slightly higher than their wives.
“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,” supposes Professor Deborah Carr, one of the researchers from 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 study is important in the sense that marital satisfaction for long marriages serves as a protection of sorts to ward off illnesses. “The quality of marriage is important because 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,” Carr added.