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Forget "happy wife, happy life!," study says it's all about the husband

We've all heard the saying "happy life, happy wife," right? Well, maybe it's not so true after all.

That's right ... there's new research that says it might be the husband that plays a more crucial role in the health of a relationship.

This study was done by the University of Chicago, and they studied 953 older couples age 63 to 90 who had been married or living together for an average of 39 years.

TIME reports that the study compared the characteristics of the husbands and wives and found 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 female's health had little impact on the relationship but the male's health did.

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Susan March 21 2014 at 8:47 AM

I've been married 30 years - together 34 ---------- And I really believe they have something here.... when the husband is a sour apple it's really hard to live with.

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1 reply
Iris & John Susan March 21 2014 at 9:02 AM

My wife and I have been married for almost 52 years. What's the secret: Love, Respect, Understanding, Friendship and at times keeping your mouth shut. John

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1 reply
anyteampa Iris & John March 21 2014 at 2:34 PM

And you share an account, one more plus for the marriage, no secrets!

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klnpiano March 21 2014 at 1:44 PM

My hubby always said he was happy... because I treated him like a King
and was pretty much a servant. Sometimes he'd say please.. Sometimes not.
I started getting resentful and speaking up about the scales being a bit unbalanced.
He felt entitled to be treated better than anyone else - expected it... and now we
are getting divorced.. Happy Husband? Happy Wife?? No.. You BOTH have to make each other happy.........

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2 replies
pikespeakrentals klnpiano March 21 2014 at 2:09 PM

gee - you sound so miserable then it clear that you should have left the guy years ago

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dickbambam klnpiano March 21 2014 at 2:36 PM

Marriage is a two way street. You are there for each other. I guess my wife never got the memo. She never does any RAK's (random acts of kindness) for me. I'm HER tool.

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1 reply
Hi Paula dickbambam March 21 2014 at 3:05 PM

Sad..we have been married 66 years this summer and still happy.. but you are right..when you get married, neither one gets their own way all of the time..worked for us.

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nrwstgal March 21 2014 at 9:20 AM

I totally agree with Frank1946. Ive been married 46 yrs and it can only last on an equal basis. Comunication and lots of give and take.........

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1 reply
nancy nrwstgal March 21 2014 at 9:40 AM

I agree with u and Frank. We've been married 59 years on an equal basis. A lot of give and take.but its worth it. I also worked 40 yrs. and he til he retired. love conquers all through good and bad times.

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richard2222carr March 21 2014 at 9:20 AM

This "study" is saying the same thing as "happy wife, happy life". The saying means keep your wife happy and to do that you have to be a positive supportive husband. The people who did this study took they saying out of context. I hope tax payers didn't pay for this.

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lionessefl March 21 2014 at 1:37 PM

Actually, most people would say that the happiness of their relationship depends on whether they BOTH feel that they feel fulfilled in the relationship. It doesn't all depend on the husba or the wife...positive well adjusted males are more likely to find happiness with positive well adjusted females...isn't that amazing? And no tax dollars were spent in my determination of those findings....

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hmadden March 21 2014 at 1:32 PM


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Walter March 21 2014 at 1:32 PM

There is an old saying, figures don't lie but liars figure. These studies mean absolutely nothing. My wife and I have been married for 56 years, raised our children and built our lives together. We meet none of these groups ideas for a good relationship, we simply love each other and treat each other with respect. That is what works for us, but it does not work for some couples. The idea is that each relationship is as personal and different at the people in it. What is improtant is to be commited to the relationship and to simply make if work.

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goongae March 21 2014 at 1:31 PM

Now you tell me?

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scarlettvd March 21 2014 at 1:14 PM

The reason is so obvious....Men need to be positive and happy (usually good sense of humor) to keep the wife happy so doesn't it make sense that a positive / happy man would ensure a long lasting marriage?! When the man is a downer then the relationship will most likely not last!

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Zoe March 21 2014 at 9:43 AM

My advice (after a bad first marriage) is to go find your "best friend" and then marry them. It took me two years to realize that my guy was also my best friend. We love being in each other's company and laugh a lot. Disagreements may cause a "silence" for a while, but neither one of us can stand being in that state, so we get over it quickly. Best friends do that.

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