According to a study presented on August 4, 2011 at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C, men and women in relationships need not be similar in personality in order to have a successful long-lasting marriage. The study, which included couples who had been married for at least 40 years, found that neither similarities in personality nor differences appeared to affect how happy the couples were.
“One of my very speculative suspicions is that this need for a relationship is so strong that it overcomes differences,” study researcher Frederick Coolidge told LiveScience. Coolidge and colleagues had 32 couples take this survey to assess their personality and how satisfied they were in their marriages. Men and women were asked to evaluate their own personality, as well as their perceptions of their partners’ personalities. The couples completed the survey in separate rooms and were not allowed to see their partners’ responses. “We didn’t want to create any divorces,” said Coolidge.
The study found that both, men and women were pretty happy in their marriages, but on average, the women reported being slightly happier than the men. Neither the length of the marriage nor personality traits (self-identified and those perceived by the spouse) were associated with the couples’ level of marital satisfaction. This may be because, over the long haul, “different personalities may provide couples with complementary resources for dealing with life’s challenges,” Levenson told LiveScience.
Courtesy – Fox News