Couples who talk to each other have happier relationships.

London - If your better half is finding fault with everything you do, don’t worry too much – it really is just the wrong time of the month.

A study has shown that women who are in relationships with less attractive and less dominant partners become more picky and critical when they are about to start ovulating.

They also don’t feel as close to them and are more attracted to other men.

In contrast, a female with a handsome alpha-male on her arm tends to become more satisfied.

However, wimps needn’t worry too much. Even when a woman’s eye is wandering, it won’t be for long and they won’t want to end the relationship.

Researchers from the University of California quizzed 41 women in long-term relationships about how attractive they found their husbands or boyfriends.

And, twice over the course of a month, they were asked how committed they were to their relationship and how close they felt to their partner.

In a second, similar experiment, 67 women were questioned twice about how likely they were to find fault with their other half.

The results showed that the women’s attitudes changed depending on how fertile they were and how attractive their man was.

For instance, at the point in the month when the women were close to ovulating, and so highly fertile, those who had rated their husband or boyfriend as being steady but not terribly attractive, felt less close to them. They were also more likely to find fault with them, the journal Hormones and Behavior reports.

Professor Martie Haselton, the study’s senior author, said: “Women with the really good, stable guy felt more distant at high-fertility periods than low-fertility periods.

“That isn’t the case with women who were mated to particularly sexually attractive men. The closeness of their relationships got a boost just prior to ovulation.

“A woman evaluates her relationship differently at different times in her cycle and her evaluation seems to be coloured by how sexually attractive she perceives her partner to be.”

The findings fit in with the idea that the female of the species sub-consciously choose hunks for flings and wimps to settle down with.

Previous work from the same lab found that women married to wimps tend to become more attracted to other men when they are at their most fertile.

The theory goes that they seek out sexy, good-looking men when the odds of pregnancy are high. Such men should have good genes and so are likely to sire healthy children.

However, the testosterone-fuelled alpha male may have a bad temper or a roving eye and so the initial attraction soon wears off, allowing wimpier sorts to come into their own.

Their lack of looks means they are less likely to stray and more likely to provide a stable home life. - Daily Mail