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What Makes the Happiest Marriages? (According to Men…)

According to the Daily Mail UK, “It appears that for men, the key to a long  and happy marriage has less to do with compatible personalities and similar  interests and more about how attractive the women they are married to  is.

A researcher from Texas has discovered that  men with attractive wives have happier marriages and this marital satisfaction  remains over time.


Yet the same can’t be said for women.  According to the study, the attractiveness of a husband played no part in how  happy or satisfied a wife said they were.

Psychologist Andrea Meltzer from the Southern Methodist  University Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences polled more than 450  newlywed couples over a four-year period.

This involved four different studies with  four different groups of newlyweds.

Before the studies, each couple member was  rated for attractiveness by an objective and independent team of researchers. 

Over the four years, each husband and wife  were separately asked on up to eight occasions to rate how satisfied they were  in their respective marriages.

Husbands across all four studies were more  satisfied than their wives at the beginning of each marriage.

Over time, husbands with wives that had been  rated as attractive remained more satisfied than their spouses.

The attractive wives in these marriages were  also, on average, more satisfied and the researchers attributed this to the fact  having a happier husband led to a happier marriage overall.


Alternatively, the attractiveness of a  husband had no impact on the marriage.Women were no more or less satisfied at  the start of the marriage, or over the course of the four years, whether they  had an attractive husband or not.

According to Meltzer: ‘These findings  strengthen support for the idea that sex differences in self-reported  preferences for physical attractiveness do have implications for long-term  relationship outcomes.

‘The significant effect of wives’  attractiveness on husbands’ satisfaction was significantly stronger than the  non-significant effect of husbands’ attractiveness on wives’  satisfaction.’

However, it may not be because the men are  shallow, it could be that they just appreciate their wives more.

These findings confirm the conclusions made  by Professor Benjamin Karney who conducted a similar study in 2008.

Professor Karney found men with attractive  wives ‘felt they were getting a good deal’ and were more committed because they  knew they were lucky to have such good looking wives –  in other words they  didn’t want to jeopardise the relationship.

This in turn led to a happier wife, and a  happier marriage.

Men who were the same level of attractiveness  as their wives, or deemed more attractive, were less likely to help their less  attractive wives out and appeared to value them less.”

Images: 1, 2

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