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A Man's Good Health and Positive Attitude May Support Marriage Bliss

A Man's Good Health and Positive Attitude May Support Marriage Bliss

Ever heard the phrase, “happy wife, happy life”? According to a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, that saying may ring true if a man’s in good health and has a balanced, upbeat personality to match.

Findings that can put you in the doghouse
Numerous studies have focused on the ways marriage can impact your total health. But this time, researchers from the University of Chicago wanted to see the flip side of those studies and find out if a person’s health and personality could affect their marriage. They analyzed data from 953 senior couples—all heterosexuals—who were married or cohabitating. Next, they looked at important clues, such as their health status and personality traits, noting a key finding: If a husband’s in poor health, lacks a positive mindset or is too much of an extrovert, his significant other is more likely to report higher levels of conflict in their marriage.

The reason? Well, it’s threefold. First, a man’s health may affect his wife’s quality of life, thrusting her into a caretaker role that requires way too much nurturing. Second, if he’s negative or too stressed by life's demands, his wife may simply find his dark disposition unpleasant and hard to live with. Finally, if he’s too much of an extrovert—overly focused on socializing—she may have trouble dealing with his high energy levels and impulsive nature, and grow weary of his behavior over time.

Men don’t react the same way
What’s interesting is that these results don’t necessarily work the other way around, according to researchers. Husbands with wives in poor health who were grumpy and lacked a positive mindset didn’t report a conflict in their marriage. Researchers think this is because husbands are more likely to seek the help and support of another family member if their wife is ill, and may be more likely to shrug off her cantankerous attitude or behavior. So how do long-term unions find harmony through all the potential discord? Researchers say it can be as simple as both parties taking a step back and really assessing how they respond to conflict, so they can take intentional steps to preserve the happiness of their marriage.

Best ways to rekindle romance
If your marriage has taken a hit because of health issues, a glass-half-empty attitude or other personality traits, there is good news. A few changes may help you light up that old spark again.

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