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If Mama’s Not Happy…

Oct. 13, 2014|1545 views
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Have you ever heard the expression, “Happy wife, happy life?” Or maybe the more negatively-phrased (but more colorful) version: “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Is this just a vaguely-insulting old saying? Or is there something to this particular aphorism?

Well, believe it or not, someone at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, actually spent time and effort to find out. Turns out, the old saying is more true than one might guess.

According to new research, when a wife is content with the long-term union, her husband tends to be happier in life, regardless of how he feels about the marriage. In a press release, sociologist Deborah Carr said, “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, which has a positive effect on his life.” Carr is a professor in the sociology department at Rutgers. ”Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives.”

"For both spouses being in a better-rated marriage was linked to greater life satisfaction and happiness,” Carr said. She said the study is important because the quality of a marriage can affect the health and well-being of older individuals as they continue to age.

So there you have it. Take note, men: Keeping your wife happy is in your own best interest. If mama ain’t happy…ain’t nobody happy. It’s been scientifically proven.

Happy marriage, happy life? marital quality and subjective well-being in later life, Deborah Carr, et al., J Marriage Fam, doi: 10.1111/jomf.12133, published 2 September 2014, Abstract


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