CHICAGO - You've heard the phrase, "happy life, happy wife"? Well maybe it's not true after all. There is new research that says it might be the husband that plays a more crucial role in the health of a relationship.
Researchers say its actually a husband's agreeable personality and health that has the most crucial impact on a couple's relationship.
This study was done by the University of Chicago -- and they studied 953 older couples age 63 to 90 who had been married or living together for an average of 39 years.
The characteristics of the husbands and wives were compared.
They found a woman's positivity, someone's desire to be seen positively, had little or no effect on conflict in a marriage.
But the husband's positivity had a big effect on the relationship. The husbands with high levels of positivity reported less conflict in their relationship.
The trend was the same if someone was in poor health. The women's health had little impact on the relationship but the men's health did.
The study's also finds that marital issues occur when spouses are critical of the other, or just get under their skin.
So boiling that down, while many wives may disagree, this research at least says the key to a long term marriage is a happy and healthy husband.
Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.