A new study has found that one of the key ingredients of a happy and conflict-free long-term marriage is husband's pleasing nature and good health.
University of Chicago researchers also found that such characteristics in wives play less of a role in limiting marital conflict, perhaps because of different expectations among women and men in durable relationships.
Study's lead author James Iveniuk, candidate in the Department of Sociology, said that wives report more conflict if their husband is in poor health but if the wife is in poor health, there doesn't seem to be any difference in terms of the quality of the marriage for the husband.
The study reports results from a national survey with data analysed from 953 heterosexual couples who were married or cohabitating.
The study participants ranged in age from 63 to 90 years old and the average length of their relationships was 39 years.
The survey of older adults participating in the National Social Life Health and Aging Project, funded by the National Institute on Aging, compared the characteristics of the husbands to the characteristics of their wives and vice versa based on interviews with each person in which they were asked to describe themselves.
A couple kiss as they attend the 29th annual "MaiKaeferTreffen" (May Beetle meeting) meeting in Hanover. (Reuters/Tobias Schwarz)
Iveniuk and co-authors found many gender differences, when they examined personality traits including openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and anxiety.