W. Bradford Wilcox and Steven Nock investigated that question. They did a research study and found seven top issues, in order of importance:
- A husband’s emotional engagement. (making an effort to listen to them, expressing affection and appreciation on a regular basis, sharing quality time on a regular basis)
- Fairness. (housework and other family responsibilities are divided fairly)
- A breadwinning husband. (happier when their husband earns 68% or more of the household income)
- A commitment to marriage. (a strong commitment to the norm of lifelong marriage)
- Staying at home. (Wives who stay at home tend to be happier in their marriages than wives who work outside the home. This is particularly true for women who have children in the home.)
- Shared religious attendance. (attending church or some other worship service with their husbands)
- Traditional gender attitudes. (Wives who hold more traditional gender attitudes—e.g., who believe that wives should focus more on nurturing/homemaking and husbands should focus more on breadwinning—are happier than wives who hold more feminist attitudes.)
Investing in the marriage pays huge dividends for women. Consequently, husbands also reap the rewards.
Our upcoming class, Living Well in Marriage, will give an emotional connection(#1) and show a commitment to the marriage(#4). During the course of the class, couples get a chance to discuss their roles(#7) and how that works out in the family(#2).
For more information on the class.