The most surprising finding in this new report is that, on average, the happiest marriages among the next generation are those who have no children and those who have four or more children. When the faith factor is added into the equation, it becomes no contest: 59 percent of wives with four or more children who attend religious services regularly are very happily married, compared to just 38 percent of religious wives with no children, 30 percent of childless, less religious wives, and about 20 percent of married mothers who do not attend church regularly.
Why are these wives so happy? Is it just an illusion? The authors of the report say that, in part, religious practice and beliefs make men better husbands.
The Survey of Marital Generosity indicates that religious husbands with four or more children "are more likely to engage in regular acts of generosity -- such as making coffee in the morning for their wives or frequently expressing affection -- and to spend more quality time with their spouses compared to other husbands."
Of course, religious wives with large families aren't the only happy wives (Michelle and Barack Obama seem to be doing fine with more typical sporadic church attendance and two kids!).
But, ladies, if you want a good family man, willing to sacrifice his time and energy for you and his family, to express affection and to appreciate all you do for him and your children -- now you know where to look.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.