You’ve spotted them – the couples for whom marriage is clearly a meaningful union and one which brings them joy and love. They may have been married for 50 years or for just 3 years, but there’s an undeniable sense of happiness about them.
This is particularly true of men. Happily married men have an air of health and energy and it’s probably not just a perception. Several studies have shown that men who are unhappily married have a 34% increase in the risk of heart attacks and angina. Men in stressful relationships also face an increased risk of dying from stroke by 34% and divorce leads to a significant increase in suicide by men. Men who are happily married not only live longer, but live healthier than men who aren’t1.
Habits of a Happy Marriage
Happily married men usually share a few common habits and if you recognise the signs, it’s easy to spot them.
1. Share the Work
When men feel a true sense of partnership with their wives, they stop looking at divisions between their roles. The house is just as much an area which they view as a shared space as any of the other areas in their marriage. So it’s not unusual for a happily married man to feel positive about helping around the home. Chores such as folding the laundry, washing the dishes, throwing out the garbage and cooking are not viewed as “hers vs his” but simply as joint responsibilities between equal partners.
2. Pay Attention to Their Wives
Happily married men still feel that their wives are their best friends, and as fascinating to them as they were when they first fell in love. They see the very best qualities in their wives. They will tell you that their wife is the smartest person they know, the most interesting person to be around and the one person that they want to spend their time with.
3. Are Affectionate
They are not afraid to reach out and hold hands. They smile often and are openly affectionate. They feel comfortable expressing their feelings and demonstrating how much they care for their wives. It goes beyond physical affection and includes thoughtful gestures such as picking their wives up from work, sending romantic messages and arranging time to be together.
4. Feel Secure
They feel secure in the love and affection that they receive from their wives. They are comfortable sharing their fears and concerns. They know that even if they have done something silly that their wives will still love and support them. They are secure in the knowledge that not only do they see the best in their wives, but their wives see the best in them. This gives them self-confidence as well as a strong sense of security and self-esteem.
5. Trust and Respect Their Wives
They feel wanted, not just needed. They see their wives as capable and independent individuals They see their wives as individuals who have goals, desires and the ability to make them happen. They trust and respect their wives and are not afraid to listen to their opinions. They know that together, they can build something much better than they could have as an individual.
Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School “Marriage and Men’s Health”, July 1, 2010