And, by all accounts, she was right (she is quite possibly the best wife ever, after all). Not only do we, to use her words, “run this motha,” but apparently women are also in charge of running their relationships. That’s right, guys; if you think you’re the one with the upper hand in your marriage, then you need to check yourself, before you wreck yourself, because you’re not very correct in your assessment.
A new study by researchers at Rutgers University has found that marital bliss is strongly associated to whether or not the wife in the relationship is happy. If she’s miserable, then her husband is miserable, and pretty much the whole relationship is just the pits. In contrast, if the husband is miserable then, well, the relationship suffers way less. Yes, ladies, we rule our marriages with an iron fist.
The research of 394 couples found that no only does the woman’s satisfaction play a big role in the happiness or misery of a marriage, but in general, men tended to be happier in their relationships than women. But when it came to overall life satisfaction, how the wives felt about the marriage directly contributed to whether her husband was happy or not.
The reason for this is that a happy wife is more willing to aim to please. As study author Deborah Carr explained, “If a wife is happy in her marriage, she will try hard to create a positive experience for her husband. So perhaps she listens to him more, she offers him more emotional support, or maybe she offers him more help with daily activities.” You know, that whole partnership thing that makes for a happy relationship.
In addition, when a woman is unhappy, she’s far more likely to talk about it, even be “confrontational” about it, notes Carr, whereas a man will “sit and seethe silently,” allowing the animosity to stew while his wife, in some cases, may not even be the wiser that there’s any issue at all. This was especially true for older couples from generations where talking about your feelings was pretty much unheard of.
What it comes down to is communication. Only in communicating feelings, as much as it might pain one to do so, can a marriage be truly successful. It’s sad to think that one person’s perception of a marriage can have such a major effect on it, but since that is the case, married couples owe it to themselves to put all their cards on the table and not shy away from openness. Of course there are no guarantees in life, and sometimes a doomed marriage is simply doomed, but if you let communication be part of the equation, then you can hopefully hang in there for the long run. Let divorce be for the other guy.