Does a Long and Happy Marriage Really Come Down to This?

New research has concluded that "in good times and in bad" largely has to do with your husband's state of "in sickness and in health."

So what exactly keeps a long-term relationship together? Well, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, the key to marital bliss is all about his health and happiness.

Researchers from University of Chicago surveyed 953 heterosexual couples who were either married or living together for an average of 39 years. As one co-author stated, they rated a couple’s conflict by quizzing them on this overall theme: “How much does your spouse bother you?”

And here’s what they discovered — the relationship flows better when the husband is in an agreeable mood, as well as in good health.

Yes, ladies. And there’s more. “If the wife is in poor health, there doesn't seem to be any difference in terms of the quality of the marriage for the husband,” stated lead study author James Iveniuk, PhD, as reported by

Then there’s the issue of being characterized as a positive person. "Wives whose husbands show higher levels of positivity reported less conflict. However, the wives' positivity had no association with their husbands' reports of conflict," Iveniuk said.

So much for the women who state, “Happy wife, happy life!”

Now before bashing your other half on the head, just keep in mind that: 1) he probably wasn’t polled by these Chicago researchers and 2) the saying, “Forearmed is forewarned” does hold meaning.

This being the case, there are a few simple ways to keep you guy’s health and happiness in check:

Encourage him to schedule regular check ups. The odds are always in our favor when we nip a potential health problem in the bud.

Embrace the fact that he has opinions. A study conducted a few months ago found that being right in every argument is not all it’s cracked up to be — and neither is agreeing just to avoid a fight. True couple happiness comes down to a balance of power.

Never lose the real you. Sometimes married couples get lost in being married. But before Mr. Right came along, you were a woman on-the-go with different groups of friends and various interests. Don’t forget about her. After all, she was the woman he fell in love with in the first place.

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