BOSTON (CBS) — “Happy wife, happy life”, as the saying goes. Now researchers say they have data to support this old adage. A new study in the journal Psychological Science shows that having a happy wife, husband, or life partner, can help extend your life.

Researchers looked at survey data on 4,400 couples in the U.S. over the age of 50. They found that people who had a happy partner at the beginning of the study were less likely to die over the next eight years compared with those who had less happy partners, regardless of household income or baseline health. In fact, a spouse’s life satisfaction seemed to have a greater impact on a participant’s mortality than the participant’s own life satisfaction.

People who are happy tend to eat better, sleep better, and be more active. So if you have a happy, active spouse, you’re more likely to be happy and active yourself. But if you have a spouse who is depressed, eats junk food, and has trouble getting out of the house, that’s probably how you’re going to spend your time as well.

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