Study Finds Women’s Happiness is More Important in Marriage

By on December 3, 2014



Researchers at Rutgers University and the University of Michigan recently found that a woman’s happiness is more important to the survival of a heterosexual marriage than her husband’s happiness. The study analyzed data from 394 couples who had been part of a 2009 national study of health, disability, and income. The couples were married for 39 years and at least one person in each marriage was 60+.

Deborah Carr, a professor in the Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Science told Rutgers that when a wife is satisfied with marriage, she will tend to do more for her spouse, which affects men positively, and therefore makes a better marriage.

To test the quality of the marriage, the couples involved in the study were asked questions about how much they argue, how much their partners get on their nerves, how much their partners appreciate them, etc. They also kept journals about their overall happiness while doing everyday activities like shopping, watching TV, and chores.

Overall, the couples rated their life satisfaction at five out of six points. Husbands usually ranked their happiness slightly higher than their wives. It seemed that those who were in a better marriage had greater satisfaction in life.

Researchers said the study is so important because marriage quality seems to directly affect the well-being and future health of individuals as they age.

“The quality of a 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 said.

An important thing to keep in mind about the study was that it was focused on a particular generation of people. What worked for these older couples may not work for Generation X and Y in their marriages. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to keep a woman happy… no matter what your age.


Do the results of this study ring true for you?