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Women hold the power on the home front - but do we really want it?

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"Happy wife, happy life." Most old wifely adages will earn men a slap these days but, in our current confused and contorted climate, the slap you'll get for quoting this one is likely to sting more than most. After all, no woman in history has ever relished the notion of being a nag, and "henpecking" is now considered to be a particularly derogative term. So neither sex will be pleased to hear that according to a study published by the Marriage Foundation in Britain, "happy wife, happy life" isn't just a trite little dictum – but fact.

Based on the campaign group's analysis of a Millennium Cohort Study, which tracked 13,000 married and cohabiting couples from nine months after the birth of their first child to the child's 14th birthday, it discovered that a mother's happiness is nearly twice as crucial as a father's when it comes to keeping the family together.

Happy wife, happy life turns out to be true for the whole family.Credit:Stocksy

It added that while a happy mother also meant that the children would be less likely to develop mental health problems and more likely to enjoy stable relationships of their own in adulthood, a father's happiness had absolutely zero bearing on his........

© The Age