It's Not Gonna Work to Just Agree With Your Spouse 24/7

Illustration for article titled It's Not Gonna Work to Just Agree With Your Spouse 24/7

Go ahead and have that argument with your sweetie about where you're spending New Year's Eve, because simply agreeing with every half-baked thing that comes out of your spouse's mouth does not a happy marriage make.


See, it's science: Time reports that researchers in New Zealand, having noticed some patients stress themselves out by constantly insisting that they're right, goddammit, scrounged up a heterosexual couple willing to regularly record their quality of life. Then, they told the dude to agree with everything his wife said (and told her jack squat).

See, they had a theory: "This was a genuine piece of research where we hoped that both parties would be happy as part of one person agreeing with everything the other said,"the study's lead author told Time. "We thought that we would find a method of creating marital bliss (and probably a Nobel Prize if we had succeeded)," he added, tongue hopefully firmly in his cheek.

Not so much!

The man's quality-of-life scores fell, from 7 to 3, over the course of the experiment. The wife's scores rose modestly, from 8 to 8.5, before she became hostile to the idea of recording the scores. Rather than causing harmony, the husband's agreeableness led to the wife becoming increasingly critical of what he did and said (in the husband's opinion).

He finally broke down and 'fessed up, and the committee responsible for monitoring the experiment cited "severe adverse outcomes" and pulled the plug.

Now, this study has more problems than a high school algebra problem. One couple is hell and gone from statistically significant—God only knows what might be going on in their lives that'd warp the results. Really, this is more of a stunt than a study.


Even so? Duh.

It's the path of least resistance for the conflict-averse, but having one (or both!) people in a relationship simply swallow their disagreement is a recipe for disaster. Sure, sometimes it's better to hold your tongue. For instance, the proper color of Christmas lights is probably not a great reason for huge row. (And multicolored lights are obviously better, SO.)


However, if your partner does something like, say, agree to a study that drastically affects the quality of your lives together without discussing it with you first, that's probably worth an argument. Damn, dude.


Image via Shutterstock



What do you mean "it's not gonna work"? My Stepford drone-like husband is a great listener and he never complains. We are insanely happy.