Older couples who report high marital satisfaction are strongly attuned to one another’s discomfort, with wives in particular feeling greater levels of distress on the days that their husbands experience more pain, according to a new study at the Yale School of Public Health.
Men, meanwhile, who had high marital satisfaction experienced heightened daily distress regardless of what they perceived their spouse’s level of discomfort to be. Researchers suggest that the difference is because wives are generally more attuned and reactive to others’ emotions; whereas happily married husbands may perceive all levels of suffering as equally threatening and their impulse is to protect their partners.
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