Monday, March 31, 2008

Why gorgeous girls are happier with plain guys

By LIZ HULL - More by this author » Last updated at 22:48pm on 23rd March 2008

He's had many an unkind comment about his looks when set against the radiant beauty of girlfriend Sienna Miller.

But Rhys Ifans seems likely to have the last laugh because psychologists reckon that happier marriages result from attractive women who wed uglier men.

And women who marry handsome men had better watch out. Men who saw themselves as better looking than their wives were more likely to be disgruntled and have negative feelings about their marriage, experts found.

The University of Tennessee study leaves 40-year-old Ifans set fair if, as expected, he marries 26-year-old Sienna this year, and it might also explain a few other couples such as Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas and Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller.

The Tennessee team tested 82 newly-wed couples for facial attractiveness and the quality of their marriage.

Their results, in the Journal of Family Psychology, suggested most men who married attractive women were happy to bask in the glory of their partner's beauty.

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller had what it takes to be a perfect match according to scientists

But Professor Jim McNulty reported: "Men who were more attractive than their partner demonstrated a tendency to offer less emotional and practical support to their wives."

He said "evolutionary perspectives" offered an explanation.

"Attractive men have available to them more short-term mating opportunities.

"This may make them less satisfied and less committed to the marital relationship."

Strathclyde University psychologist Alastair Ross said many men enjoyed the prestige of having a beautiful wife.

"Men are rated as more likeable and friendly when they have a wife who is very attractive," he added.

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