Happy wife, happy life.

It’s clichéd. It’s quaint. It rhymes. And as it turns out, it’s true. A new study may have actually proven that having a happy wife leads to having a more happy life for the husband. (And now some of you better be stopping by the florist on the way home.)

The study, conducted by Professor Deborah Carr, of Rutgers University, and Professor Vicki Freedman, of the University of Michigan, took into account data from almost 400 couples in which at least one spouse was age 60 or older. Average length of marriage for study couples was 39 years. Carr and Freedman asked whether spouses felt appreciated, had arguments, felt understood or were irritated by the other spouse. Participants also kept journals about their levels of happiness in the previous 24 hours doing certain activities like shopping, doing chores or watching television.

What they found was that when wives reported being happier in a long-term marriage, the husbands also reported being happier in life regardless of how they personally felt about the marriage. The data showed that being in a better-rated marriage “was linked to greater life satisfaction and happiness” for both spouses.

“I think it comes down to the fact that when a wife is satisfied with the marriage, she tends to do a lot more for her husband,” said Professor Carr, “which has a positive effect on his life.”

According to the study authors, “[There was not] a significant association between spouse’s marital appraisals and own well-being. However, the association between husband’s marital quality and life satisfaction is buoyed when his wife also reports a happy marriage, yet flattened when his wife reports low marital quality.”

That’s the thing about clichés: they exist for a reason. Maybe people didn't actually need a proper study to figure out that when the wife is happy, the life is happy too.

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