Nothing, not even money, division of household chores or other factors can make your wife happy. No formulas, no shortcuts, the only sole factor that contribute to a woman's marital happiness is the husband's level of emotional engagement and commitment. The following is the conclusion arrived at W. Bradford Wilcox and Steven L. Nock, from the University of Virginia.
Women whose husbands earned a majority of the income (>68%), who don't work out of home or those who have a strong-shared commitment to lifelong marriage reported high levels of marital happiness. This effect was true even in households where women had democratic ideas such as both men and women should contribute equally to the family income and share housework in a similar way. Women are equally particular about their perceptions regarding fairness. Women who felt that their husbands did not do justice to their share reported less level of happiness than who felt that there was a fair division of housework.
Women who had conservative thoughts like the men folk should take lead in earning and women should engage in taking care of the family also reported high levels of happiness. Surprisingly, nearly 2/3rds of married women who report that there is a fair 50-50 distribution of household chores ended up doing the majority of the work, probably due to a conservative mindset or due to perception of their husband as an important contributor to family income.
The study entitled, 'What's Love Got to do With It? Equality, Equity, Commitment and Women's Marital Quality,' can be found in the latest issue of Social Forces, a sociology journal, held in high regard. More than 5000 couples in the United States have been analyzed as a part of the National Survey of Families and Households.
Several studies conducted on similar grounds in the U.S have so far tried to focus only division of housework or income of husband. The study is the first of it's kind to have looked into the oft-neglected factor, husband's emotional engagement and commitment. Time and over again, it has been proved that affection, a good understanding and quality time spent with their husbands are more than sufficient to please a woman. It is high time that our poor husbands took notice of this interesting study.
Although conventional and academic wisdom propagate the idea that best marriages are a blend of equals, in reality, it seems to be more complicated. Although women are sensitive enough to appreciate inequality in routine tasks and efforts, this is something that might probably be ignored, provided they are emotionally satisfied. More importantly, husbands need to be attuned to their partner's feelings about both marriage and their relationship in general. Much spoken about and less done, it has now been proved that equality does not necessarily generate equity.
'Regardless of what married women say they believe about gender, they tend to have happier marriages when their husband is a good provider - provided that he is also emotionally engaged. I was very surprised to find that even egalitarian-minded women are happier when their marriages are organized along more gendered lines', remarked Wilcox, one of the study authors.