Sydney, Dec 18: What is better for a healthy married life: to be right or to be happy?
To decode the effect of being right vs being happy on a couple’s quality of life, researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand involved a married couple living in their own home for their study.
The authors decided that the female participant would prefer to be right and the male participant would prefer to be happy.
So the man was asked to agree with his wife’s every opinion and request without complaint. Even if he believed the female participant was wrong, the male was to bow and accept. The male was informed of the intervention while the female participant was not.
Quality of life of both participants was measured using a scoring scale of one to 10 (10 being the best possible quality of life).
After 12 days, the study had to be stopped as the male participant found the female participant became increasingly critical of everything he did!
The male participant’s quality of life score fell from 7 out of 10 at the start of the study to 3 at day 12. However, the female participant’s quality of life increased slightly from 8 to 8.5 at day six.
“It seems that being right is a cause of happiness, and agreeing with what one disagrees with is a cause of unhappiness,” said the authors.
“Many people in the world live as couples, and we believe that it could be harmful for one partner to always have to agree with the other. However, more research is needed to see whether our results will hold if it is the male who is always right,” they concluded.
The findings of the study were published in the British Medical Journal.