Happy Wife, Happy Life: University of Chicago Study Begs to Differ
A new research study released by the University of Chicago appears to have upset the proverbial marital apple cart as compiled data indicates that the husband is the key player in maintaining a happy marriage and avoiding divorce court.The recent study, published to the Journal of Marriage and Family supports that husbands maintaining a positive outlook reported lower levels of conflict in the marriage while the wife's outlook on life had very little impact on the union. Wives reported increased conflict issues when their husband or partner is in poor health but data suggests that when the wife is experiencing health issues there is little to no change in the quality of the marriage.
Lead author, James Iveniuk, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology cited these results after interviewing over 900 married couples with at least 40 years of wedded bliss. The data was comparative to gender characteristics to detect a change in how we view marital partnerships. The findings also concluded that when couples are critical of each other, the apple cart may topple, leading to discontent or even divorce.
The study, funded by the National Institute on Aging, examined the characteristics of both men and women in long term marriages or relationships. Iveniuk and his team of researchers concluded that there is gender bias when it comes to such personality traits as openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, anxiety and overall agreeableness.
Based on the content of the study, long-term couples now have a new buzz word, “positivity” or a partner's desire not to be the one bad apple but to rather be recognized as the one with a positive attitude.
During the study, male partners expressed their desire to lessen the amount of critical assault by their female partners and when constantly criticized conflict levels increased. The research team seems to agree as to whether lower levels of conflict in marriage requires a lesser degree of frustrating factors, such as poor health and negativity but also if a harmonious balance of emotional responsibility is shared by both partners.
So for the time being the marital apple cart and what we have believed all these years is on the verge of upset. The panel of researchers conclude that by studying younger couples entering the later stages of marriage may be comparable to the older couples participating in this project.
Until that time, we have to admit that marriage certainly will evolve over the course of generations. How we define ourselves ultimately agrees with the need for continual “positivity” to be infiltrated into our daily lives as well as our relationships. Sadly, this is not always the case.
If you have reached the limits of your own personal “positivity” factor with your spouse and are considering filing for divorce the experienced team of attorneys of The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates are here to help. For over 30 years we have been instrumental in assisting both wives and husbands with the difficulties and uncertainties of all things divorce. If you need help with regaining your “positivity” factor contact our offices today for a free consultation.