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Husbands More Satisfied When They Are Bigger Than Their Wives, and Wives Are Okay With It

Written by Michael Richardson

According to a recent study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, husbands are more satisfied in their marriage when they have a higher BMI than their wives, and wives are more satisfied when they have a lower BMI than their husbands. This puts an interesting twist on the idea that everyone wants to be fit and wants to be with a fit person.

Many researchers have studied how weight and body mass index affect relationships, but this study was unique in that it looked at how the comparison between the two weights of the partners affected the relationship. The researchers found that while it is clear that people prefer thin partners, actual satisfaction within established relationships isn’t dependent solely upon weight. In fact, one study they cited found that larger men were more satisfied with their relationships than were smaller men.

When it comes to BMI and established relationships, researchers found that the comparison may actually matter more than the BMI itself: “Husbands with wives who had lower BMIs than their own were more satisfied with their marriages, regardless of those husbands’ and wives’ absolute BMIs, and wives who had lower BMIs than their husbands remained more satisfied with their marriages, regardless of those wives’ and husbands’ absolute BMIs.”

BMI matters in different ways to each gender. Some suggest that women care less about BMI in a partner than men do, which would explain the difference in satisfaction. But what implication does this have on relationships and marriages?

The most important implication is that people of any size can have happy relationships if they find the right partner. The comparison between the partners matters more than the individual characteristics of the person him or herself.

And this is true not just for BMI. Researchers in the study went on to say that husbands and wives place different value on the many varied aspects of marriage. As one example, husbands value earning potential in a partner less than wives do. Then consider emotional stability, where husbands and wives usually place equal importance. For each aspect of marriage, each person places weight and is satisfied or not satisfied according to how their partner meets their expectations.

How spouses see each other may be the most important part of their relationship.

Article Reviewed: June 1, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

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