Attractive Wives Linked to Satisfying Marriages

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

The trophy wife is a concept that causes some to roll their eyes, while others see it as another part of the American dream.

But does that shiny new bride guarantee a higher level of marital bliss? And does the same carry true for handsome grooms?

New research, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, hopes to offer some insight.

A group of psychologists interviewed 450 newlywed couples over a four-year period. They wanted to understand if an attractive spouse, either husband or wife, offers a higher level of marital happiness than someone less attractive.

Researchers found the attractiveness of a spouse can play a role in how content their partner is, but mainly among the husbands. Wives were not found to be as impacted by the beauty of their other halves.

“The attractiveness of a spouse can

play a role in how content their partner is.”

Word that men find greater value in a beautiful partner might not be all that surprising, but the study’s authors found that effect can also bring greater marital satisfaction to the trophy wife, though somewhat indirectly.

The belief is with a husband so thrilled over his life partner, he is more likely to treat her well and attend to her needs. As such, attractive wives reported higher levels of marital satisfaction.

As study author Benjamin Karney puts it, “The husbands seemed to be basically more committed, more invested in pleasing their wives when they felt they were getting a pretty good deal.”

According to the study, “The significant effect of wives’ attractiveness on husbands’ satisfaction was significantly stronger than the nonsignificant effect of husbands’ attractiveness on wives’ satisfaction, indicating that partner physical attractiveness played a larger role in predicting husbands’ marital satisfaction than it did in predicting wives’ marital satisfaction.”

Karney also pointed out men who consider themselves more attractive than their wives were less likely to dote on them.

“They didn’t seem to be quite as motivated to help out their wives,” he said.


Advertiser Disclosure is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.