There are a million things men love about their wives besides their beauty. Lady Chatterley encourages us to share those things here
A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece here on the Good Men Project entitled “Can We Stop With the Happy Wife, Happy Life?” In it, I argued that the tired cliché about the “Happy Wife Happy Life,” still rolls off the tongue in wedding speeches. It is not only irritating and old-fashioned, but is also a poor and unrealistic foundation for a successful marriage. The response to my piece was a resounding YES! Marriage is about teamwork, a partnership where happiness is equally important for both partners. Common sense, really.
Last week, my husband emailed me this Huffington Post article with the subject line “So I guess punching above my weight pays off then, hey?” I could hear tires screeching inside my head. According to the article, the cliché for a happy marriage is no longer “happy wife, happy life” at all. Oh no, ladies and gentleman. It’s PRETTY wife, happy life. Or happy marriage, to be more precise.
According to the article, a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology drew on work from four separate longitudinal studies. In the beginning of each study, each couple’s physical attractiveness was rated by the other couples. Each spouse also reported her or his individual levels of marital satisfaction over the first four years of marriage.
The husbands whose wives scored higher on the aesthetic group rating were more satisfied at the beginning of their marriage and generally remained that way over the next four years. Additionally, it was found that the husbands’ physical attractiveness had absolutely no effect on the reported happiness of their wives. Simply put: men care more about the looks of their spouses than women do.
But rather than dwelling too much on the results of this study, which frankly are a little depressing (and which seem to reinforce the male stereotype of prizing female beauty above other qualities), I’m going to use these results as an opportunity to turn the conversation over to the men.
Sure, physical attraction can and often does play a large part in what draws two people together. And yet, it’s those other qualities, the deeper, idiosyncratic layers of a person that make you say “THIS is the one.” Physical attraction is often just one element of what creates the right sexual and emotional chemistry in a relationship.
When I asked my husband what he loves about me besides my body, he said that I make him laugh (both unintentionally and intentionally) and that he loves how gentle and compassionate I am. Good answer, love.
So, apart from your wife’s beautiful eyes or other favourite body part, what characteristics do you adore about her? Is it her kindness? Her intelligence? Her sense of humour? The way she smells?
I’d love for you to share your comments below.
image credit: Flickr/DOCUGLAM + FASHION ACTITUD
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