Newlywed couple at the beach

Happy Wife, Happy Life: Is This Really True?

September 12, 2019

Happy wife, happy life. That has been echoed by millions throughout these years. But is this true? It really sounds simplistic. To some extent, yes. For at the center of it all is the concept of happiness. What is happiness? What is real happiness? In the tenets of marriage, what is marital bliss? Is it finding the right partner? Is it meeting your one true love, your soul mate? With America experiencing a dramatic drop in divorce rates, thanks to millennials, marriage seems to be enjoying better chances these days.

The truth of the matter is relationships these days aren’t foolproof. And there’s a word that everyone uses – something that eventually eats the relationship in the long run. Yes, we’re talking about EXPECTATIONS. Akin to high schoolers, the first part of our relationships is a garden of beautiful flowers and wonderful songs. It’s heavenly. We’re happy we’ve found the one. Ultimately, however, expectations fall short. And for many, marital bliss becomes but a memory growing fainter by the day. Worse, violence has woven itself neatly into the American picture. Into the intimacy of partner or spouse. So what then does the formula ‘happy wife, happy life’ do? Does it follow? Find out as we discuss the details below.


The Idea of Marital Happiness

Marital happiness is elusive. True. Not every relationship is sealed with a lifetime guarantee, much as you want to. Listening to stories from the internet and even from your close buddies will confirm this. Worse, your own experience could be a prime example. America has had quite a long history of divorce for one.

Government data show that in 1992, 4.8 divorces happened for every 1,000 in population. That’s quite a lot. Luckily, there has been a constant drop in divorce rates. By the year 2016, the rate has steadied at 3.2. It’s quite an improvement given the amount of media mileage divorce is getting. We’re talking about movies and social media.

The downward trend has been attributed to millennials. A survey by Philip Cohen entitled American Community Survey or ACS showed the younger generation is looking at marriage in a different way compared to the previous generations.

Let’s just say they’re getting wiser. On an entirely different note compared to baby boomers, today’s millennials (and even some from the Gen-X generation) are marrying later in life. Where the older generation got married regardless of their financial status, these days younger people are getting married after they’ve achieved education and stable careers.

That tells us, this younger generation is getting a lot more satisfied with their marriage. Less turmoil in the relationship, less fight. Less divorce.

Still, if you’re to clap your hands, hold your horses. America today is still suffering from violent relationships. The numbers? Year in year out, we have about 2.3 million Americans suffer rape and physical assault by an past or present intimate partner (spouse or not).


Happy Wife Happy Life Proven in Science

So with all these happening, does the ‘Happy Wife Happy Life’ slogan ring true? Is it worth pursuing? Oh well, science says you might gain a lot if you do.

Recent research coming straight from New Jersey’s Rutgers University shows that in a long-term relationship, the happier the wife, a happy husband follows. That’s refreshing.

Even better, it doesn’t matter how the husband feels about the marriage overall. And it could be spreading the bliss to both husband and wife too. We’re talking about not just in the feeling department but in health too. Previous studies further reveal that having a happy partner also minimizes the risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus, if you want a heart attack or stroke to stay as far away from you as possible, making your partner as happy as can be is wise.

Another study confirms the theory. In the Journal of Marriage and Family. Made by Prof. Carr, who is from Rutgers and Prof. Freedman who is from the University of Michigan, said study aimed to assess marital happiness targeting older adults in the process.

Professor Carr confirms that when a “wife is satisfied” with how things are going on in the marriage, she goes out of her way. And does a lot more for the husband. That overall gives a very “positive effect” on life on a day to day basis.

It seems that when the husband’s marital quality goes a notch higher in the satisfaction scale when a wife is satisfied with the marriage.

The study was done on 394 couples who had at least one 60-year-old partner. These couples had about 39 years of marriage on average.

To do the study, questionnaires were thrown looking into the details of their day to day life. These include how spouses appreciate each other, arguments and things that irritate them. Moreover, a diary was kept for each partner detailing their degree of happiness of the past 24 hours on what they’ve been doing.


Making It All Happen

Everyone is not too excited about it all though. Christian preachers figure that deferring to the wife may not be a wise thing to do as it can only open a can of worms. What they mean is instead of ‘pleasing the wife’ the husband must ‘lead the wife’. Pleasing the wife can be disastrous. Perhaps a reference to how Eve led Adam to sin in the Biblical story.

These Christian leaders hammer their truth that there is a dark meaning to the phrase ‘happy wife, happy life.” They say that can only mean a man’s life will have less misery when the wife gets her way. It’s her way or the highway.

Well, that may make some sense. Still, striving to give happiness to the wife means you get happiness back. If not, you can try canceling on having dinner together forever. And see what happens.

And it will have greater results, indeed. As Tony Robbins says,” Your relationships magnify your life experience.” A bad relationship will choke you. A good one will make you flourish.

To make your wife happy, you need to take into account how you are with her. Do you spend leisure time with her? When was the last time you laughed with her? Or shared a movie? Also, doing an audit on how you talk to her would be a good start. The tone of your voice says a lot about how much you care about the person. Assess and improve every day. Chances are you’d realize that ‘happy wife, happy life’ isn’t just a thought. It’s for real.