Can you calm down quickly after an argument with your spouse? That’s a commendable trait, but there’s an even better predictor as to whether you’ll have a happy marriage: whether your wife can calm down quickly.
For a study published in Emotion, researchers had married couples come into the lab and discuss and area of marital conflict. While the couples did so, researchers measured their emotional responding via body arousal, facial expressions, and self-reporting. Researchers found that men and women were equally good at calming down after an argument—but the happiest marriages were the ones in which women were able to calm down quickly.
It seems like two problems are at work here. It could be that the idea that women are the emotional centres of marriage is at play. On the other hand, it could be that men’s reaction to conflict isn’t relevant.
Either way, it seems like the best takeaway is this: if you’re going to marry a firecracker, make sure she burns out quickly.