Men With Attractive Wives Report Higher Levels Of Marital Satisfaction, New Study Finds

11/19/2013 04:47 pm ET | Updated Nov 19, 2013
  • Taryn Hillin Fmr. Associate Editor, Huffington Post Weddings and Divorce and current YA author / screenwriter and journalist.

Happy wife, happy life? Not anymore -- a new study suggests it’s an attractive wife that leads to a satisfying marriage.

In the study, which was recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, psychologist Andrea Meltzer tracked over 450 newlywed couples during the course of four years and posed the question: does a good-looking spouse lead to a more satisfying union?

What Meltzer and her team discovered was that spousal attractiveness does play a major role in marital satisfaction -- but only for men. In other words, men care about looks more than women do.

The authors write, "The significant effect of wives’ attractiveness on husbands’ satisfaction was significantly stronger than the nonsignificant effect of husbands’ attractiveness on wives’ satisfaction, indicating that partner physical attractiveness played a larger role in predicting husbands’ marital satisfaction than it did in predicting wives’ marital satisfaction."

Interestingly, the attractive wives also reported higher levels of satisfaction, all because having a happy hubby made them happier too.

A study conducted in 2008 at the Relationship Institute at UCLA reached a similar finding. Researchers theorized that men who felt they "lucked out" by marrying attractive wives were happier and more likely to care about their wives' needs -- and in turn, the good-looking wives were happier in the relationship as well.

“The husbands seemed to be basically more committed, more invested in pleasing their wives when they felt that they were getting a pretty good deal,” study author Benjamin Karney explained.

Karney said the opposite occurred when the husbands felt they were better looking than their wives, explaining, "They didn’t seem to be quite as motivated to help out their wives when they were more attractive than their wives."

What do you think, do you agree with the "hot wife, better life" theory? Sound off below.

Then, check out the slideshow for more fascinating marriage findings.

Top 10 Marriage Findings of 2012

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