Your boss may be bullying around at the office, but you've got your revenge: at home he is a pussy whipped poodle. A new research revealed that the secret of a happy marriage is the woman's power, making decisions and dominating discussions.
"The study at least suggests that the marriage is a place where women can exert some power. Whether or not it's because of changing societal roles, we don't know," said lead author David Vogel, a psychologist at Iowa State University (ISU).
This challenges previous researches.
"They have largely based that on the fact that traditionally men earn more money and so therefore would have the ability to make big decisions in the relationship".
The research was made on 72 married couples, with the spouses having an average age of 33 and being married for about seven years. 66 % were Caucasian, followed by Asian (22 %), Hispanic (5 %) and African American (4 %); the rest of 3 % was made of other nationalities. Each spouse completed a questionnaire about relationship satisfaction and overall decision-making ability. Each spouse had to point a relationship problem which required the other's cooperation.
Money and housework were the most common issues, while sex had an insignificant importance as a marital issue.
The most frequently chosen issues by husbands/wives were money (18 %/13 %), housework (15 %/15 %), friends and family (10 %/19 %), feelings and emotions (10 %/13 %), time together (13 %/10 %), making decisions (18 %/4 %), sex (4 %/1 %), intimacy (1 %/1 %), communication (3 %/4 %), children (husbands never chose this topic; 3 % of wives), relationship changes (4 %/17 %).
The team videotaped the couples while they discussed each of the issues for 10 minutes. The videotapes were classified employing a scale that marked couples' interactions based on words and behaviors linked with blame (accusations and partner's criticizing); demand (nags, pressures for change, requests); withdrawal and avoidance (hesitating to tackle the subject, changing topics, diverting attention or looking away); and discussion.
Wives were much more demanding, attending to change their relationship or their partner and could do it more often than their partner, no matter who had chosen the issue.
"It wasn't just that the women were bringing up issues that weren't being responded to, but that the men were actually going along with what they said. [Women] were communicating more powerful messages, and men were responding to those messages by agreeing or giving in." explained Vogel.
"Women are responsible for overseeing the relationship, making sure the relationship runs, that everything gets done, and that everybody's happy. There's been research that suggests that's a marker of a healthy marriage - that men accept influence from their wives," said co-researcher Megan Murphy.