CHICAGO — You’ve heard the adage, “happy wife, happy life?” Well, maybe it’s not true after all.
There is new research that says it might actually be the husband who plays a more crucial role in the health of a relationship.
The study by the University of Chicago followed 953 heterosexual couples age 63 to 90, who had been married or living together for an average of 39 years.
The characteristics of the husbands and wives were compared.
Researchers found that a woman’s positivity — someone’s desire to be seen positively — had little or no effect on conflict in a marriage.
But the husband’s positivity had a big effect on the relationship. The husbands with high levels of positivity reported less conflict in their relationship.
The trend was the same if someone was in poor health. The women’s health had little impact on the relationship, but the men’s health did.
The study also found that marital issues occur when spouses are critical of the other, or just get under each other’s skin.
So boiling that down, while many wives may disagree, this research at least says the key to a long-term marriage, is a happy and healthy husband.