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.”