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If You Want to Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life, Never Make a Skinny Man Your Husband

marital happiness, body image

Is this the weight ratio all couples should follow?

You know the old song by Jimmy Soul – or at least, you should.  “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife.  So from my personal point of view, get an ugly girl to marry you.”  My father used to laugh and sing along every time that song came on the radio when I was a kid.  He got a special kick out of an exchange between two of the band members that takes place mid-song.  “Hey man, I saw your wife the other day.  She’s uglyyyyyyyyy!”  “Yeah, she’s ugly, but she sure can cook, baby!”

Mr. Soul’s advice may not lead to marital bliss, though – because it turns out people aren’t worried about the way their partner looks as much as their size in relation to each other.  According to a recent study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, married men prefer their spouses to be thinner than them.  (SHOCKER!)  Not thin, per se, just thinner than they are.

The researchers, led by University of Tennessee psychologist Andrea Meltzer, wrote, “Husbands were more satisfied at the time of marriage, and remained more satisfied over time, to the extent that their wives had lower BMIs than their own.”  Here’s the caveat: that statistic refers to husbands in their mid- or late-20s.  Wives of the same age group also reported being happier if they were smaller than their husbands.

So what happens to marital happiness after women gain those pesky pregnancy pounds?

It’s unclear.  These couples – 165 in all – were only followed for four years, and there’s no indication as to how childbirth – and therefore baby weight – affected their marital happiness.  It also doesn’t say exactly why men are happier being bigger and women are happier being smaller, but one is left to infer that the old standards of masculinity and femininity are at play here.  What this means for the future is that we’ll likely continue to see lots of models hooking up with guys like Jack Black and fewer thick chicks marrying dudes like Jack Sprat.  The worst part is, I’m not sure who should be more offended, chubby girls or skinny guys?  Also, finding love in your 30s and 40s may change the equation, when hopefully people are looking for less superficial qualities in a mate.

Photo: Daily Haha

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