At risk of sounding like a 1950s relationship guide, research out of Iowa State University is making an interesting claim: to achieve high satisfaction in your marriage, let the woman have her way in matters of the relationship. The authors found that women had more intensity for events within the marital relationship, and that women that had male partners who provided more positive feedback and understanding of their concerns were more likely to have satisfying relationships.

My view is slightly more nuanced than the misleading but eye-catching headline “Key to marital happiness? Let the wife have her way”. Essentially, I think that simple acknowledgement of concerns and understanding facilitates better communication, problem solving, and balance of power in a relationship. Men who are able to engage at an intimate emotional level with their wives (obviously just rolling with the stereotypes, but certainly these roles could be reversed) will have a greater level of closeness that would increase satisfaction. Simply letting someone have his/her way would be destructive in the long run and lead to resentment or disengagement.