Happy wife, happy life! Research into 13,000 British parents proves old-age saying is TRUE with married partners more likely to stay together if the mother is contented
- Mother’s happiness more important than father’s when it comes to family life
- Report by Marriage Foundation analysed Millennium Cohort Study of 13,000
- Found that if a mother was happy, she is more likely to have a stable relationship
A mother’s happiness is almost twice as important as a father’s when it comes to whether or not a couple will stay together, new research has revealed.
The study – by Harry Benson, research director for Marriage Foundation, and Professor Steve McKay of the University of Lincoln – analysed Millennium Cohort Study data from up to 13,000 British couples.
The married or cohabiting couples were evaluated from nine months after the birth of their child in 2000-1, and again when their son or daughter turned 14.
Research found mothers who reported a high level of happiness when their child was nine months old were more likely to maintain a good level of happiness when their child was a teenager.
A mother’s happiness is almost twice as important as a father’s when it comes to whether or not a couple will stay together, new research by the Marriage Foundation has revealed (stock image)
Children were also less likely to develop mental health problems if their mother was happy, whereas a father’s happiness did not have a direct impact.
A mother’s happiness was also considered to be ‘twice as important’ as a father’s when it came to predicting whether or not a couple would ultimately stay together.
Wives were also more likely to stay close to their daughters as teenagers had they been happy in their relationship when the child was young.
‘I’ve always argued that the key to happy family life is for dad to love mum and she will love him right back, in that order. Previous research has supported this idea but it’s been bitty,’ said Mr Benson.
A mother’s happiness was also considered to be ‘twice as important’ as a father’s when it came to predicting whether or not a couple would ultimately stay together (stock image)
‘We think this is the first serious attempt to test the truth of the saying Happy Wife Happy Life across four different family outcomes’.
Sir Paul Coleridge, chairman of Marriage Foundation, added the report proved it is ‘crucial to not forget the vital role of wife/mother as the lynch pin’.
He said: ‘As with so many traditional family myths, there is more than a grain of truth in this one as the evidence demonstrates. In all the contemporary discussion about the appropriate roles for mums and dads in today’s well adjusted family it is still crucial not to forget the vital role of wife/mother as the lynch pin.
‘Dads would do themselves and theirs children a favour if they bore in mind that being supportive and kind to the mother of their children is not a sign of weakness but strength and self confidence.’