New York - The secret of a happy marriage might be nothing more complicated than the wife being slimmer than her husband.
A four-year study suggests that, in the short and long term, both partners are more contented if the woman has a lower Body Mass Index.
Initially men stay in the relationship because they find their thinner partner attractive, researchers concluded.
Further down the line, women feel confident and loved because they know their man still wants them.
The study could perhaps shed new light on the break-up of Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony, who announced last week they are splitting up after seven years together.
The 40-year-old singer is admired as much for her generous posterior as her music while her husband is noticeably thinner than her. Other celebrity matches could also back up the theory.
Model Heidi Klum - who has retained her svelte figure - married singer Seal in 2005 and they have repeatedly renewed their vows.
David Beckham and his ever-slender wife Victoria also show no sign of losing the shine from their union 11 years after the event.
The study from the University of Tennessee selected 169 married couples aged under 35 and asked them to fill in questionnaires every six months for four years.
They discovered that men who had a higher BMI, which is calculated from height and weight, were happier at the start of their marriage and stayed that way.
The same effect was true for the women - by the end of year four wives with a lower BMI than their husbands were significantly happier than those who weighed the same or more.
Lead author Andrea Meltzer said: “The great message from our study is that women of any size can be happy in their relationships with the right partner. It’s relative weight that matters, not absolute weight. It’s not that they have to be small.”
She added: “There’s a lot of pressure on women in our society to achieve an often unreachably small weight.
“One idea is that attractiveness and weight are more important to men. That might be why we see this emerging at the beginning of the marriage for husbands, and their dissatisfaction might be affecting wives’ satisfaction over time.”
Experts also suggested that men and women were happier in relationships where men are the “more powerful in a benign way”.
“The good news is there are many dimensions that symbolise power for men,” said couples therapist Susan Heitler.
Such signs could include income, intelligence, education level, height and weight, she said.
“Those signs of bigness lead to a subconscious feeling within the woman of more security and, in turn, more marital satisfaction.”
Relationships expert Jean Hannah Edelstein added, however: “I would be sceptical that most men would really reject their partners on the basis of being overweight if there were no other issues.” - Daily Mail
I agree that a man is happy when his woman looks after herself and stays in shape. Is this more than we ask of our men? It is not only about looking good, but also about living a healthy lifestyle. Lets face it, how many obese people look and feel healthy? I was also overweight, and my man kept nagging me to lose weight. Not because he was embarressed about me, but because he loves me and wants me to be around for many years to come.
100% right .... a woman must stay thin and sexy to turn a man on, and keep him.. No man want to be seen with a fat woman, no matter how much he loves her !!
Chef Charles, wrote
I also disagree with this study. My humble view is that most relationships over 40 overlook these superficial imperfections. Ideally what true relationships should be all about, is ... 1.unconditional love, 2. mutual respect and 3.common values. I have been with my lovely wife for over 15 years, who was was a size 10 then and has since grown to a size 14.Im still madly in love with her today as if it was the first day we met. I still have butterflies in my stomach when she looks at me with her beautful eyes. Call me old-fashioned' that's also fine. Im truly blessed and Im undoubtedly one of the the happiest man in this world
Nangamso Nani Mngomeni, wrote
THIS IS SO TRUE.
that's true! no one wants a piggy wife!
Very superficial indeed. These trivial points of attarction appal l me. The 4 things that will keep a couple together are without doubt : 1. Love 2. Trust 3. Honesty 4. The chick having big tits.
Stupid study which once again suggests that we all are superficial through and through. Waste of time to read.
This a superficial lie at best. There are many women who are fatter than their husbands in a happy marriage. A good marriage has 4 components.One being able to love your spouse not only in words, but also in actions. Two, being able to help, compromise and understand your roles as companions and helpers to your spouse in terms of working in an external job and working together in raising children. Three honouring the marital bed and learning to honour each others physical needs, in other words try to learn to satisfy and don't cheat. Four understanding especially as a man that you have moved away from dependence to mummy and daddy, you are an independent adult now, financially, emotionally and morally.
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