How can I be a happy man

Making men happy: how does it work? Very easily

What makes a man happy Many men's magazines deal with the question and come up with, let's say, answers with quite limited creativity.

Not that it is any different with women's magazines - but a study from the journal "Journal of Marriage and Family" agrees with men's magazines on one point: making men happy is actually very easy. Because men are happy when their partners are happy.

Two US psychologists found this out by analyzing the data of almost 400 couples in which at least one of the partners was older than 60 years and the couple had been married for an average of 39 years.

Deborah Carr from Rutgers University and Vicki Freedman from the University of Michigan looked at the impact that partners' assessments of each other had on well-being and satisfaction with the marriage.

For example, it was recorded whether the participants felt valued by their partners, whether they could mostly understand the feelings of the other, how much the partners argued with each other or got on each other's nerves.

It was true for both sexes that someone who rated their relationship as very good also rated themselves as happier overall - but there was also an effect of the partner's happiness on their own happiness, and this was different for men and women.

The effect does not apply the other way round

If the partner was happy with their marriage, her husband was happy with the relationship and his life as a whole. But it was not the other way around. A man who was satisfied with his marriage did not automatically have a woman who was happy.

This appears to be because, according to the researchers, women often have a greater burden in relationships than men. Another analysis showed that the woman's happiness clearly suffered as soon as her husband fell ill - not uncommon in old age.

On the other hand, having his wife sick did not make a big difference to the husband's happiness. "We know women tend to take care of their partner when he's sick, which is obviously stressful," says Carr. "But when a woman gets sick, it is often not her husband who takes care of her, but her daughter".

The researchers looked at very old couples, because a good relationship is always beautiful, but in old age it becomes particularly important when it comes to health. A good marriage, says Carr, is an important protective factor. Happy partners get sick less often and cope with stressful events better.