...But Not For Lunch

Published Online: Saturday, June 1, 2002

?I married you ?for better or for worse,?? says the traditional housewife to her newly retired husband, ?but not for lunch!? The old joke just may have a basis in reality.
According to Duane W. Crawford, PhD, of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, the notion that spouses who spend leisure time together are ultimately happier in their marriage makes the broad assumption that the couple ?invariably pursue activities that they both like.? Dr. Crawford was the lead author of a study, the results of which were published in the May 2002 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.

The 13-year study revealed, however, that a husband?s?but not a wife?s?marital satisfaction was related to whether the couple engaged in activities together that they both enjoyed. Women, in contrast, were less satisfied in their marriages when they participated in activities that their husbands liked but that they did not enjoy. The researchers also found that, even when couples enjoyed similar activities, they were not necessarily more likely to spend time doing them together. The bottom line is: all spouse, all the time, regardless of the activity, may not be the key to a blissful marriage.

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