No doubt, many men (and women) are desirous of a happy marriage and an exciting sex life, but it appears there is a better way to achieve these other than the conventional ways of buying gift items, going on vacations and being a caring, good looking partner.
A study has shown that couples tend to have a higher level of satisfaction in their marriage if the husband looks after the kids. Understandably, that is often seen as a woman's natural responsibility, and in fact, in the days of yore, in some settings, women used to be saddled with the responsibility of catering for the children and overseeing the home while the men would go out to fend for the family.
But now that women are increasingly becoming an integral part of the workforce in the business and corporate world, the responsibility of doing the house chores and taking care of the kids seem to be falling on the shoulders of both the man and the woman.
Regardless, the study found that when couples share child care equally, both of them would be more satisfied, given that men are oftentimes interested in an exciting sexual experience with their wives and the woman would be willing to make it happen to reciprocate the love.
In the study, the researchers from Georgia State University in the United States examined about 900 heterosexual couples and analysed the data procured from them. They asked pertinent questions from the participants as to how they shared the house chores, who takes care of the kids and how they would rate their sexual satisfaction and their overall happiness in the marriage.
After analysing the data, the researchers found that if men go beyond the conventional way of sharing responsibilities in marriage to share childcare duties with their wives equally, they would both have more satisfaction and enjoy better sex.
In other words, it was found that when women were responsible for most of the childcare activities, both the husband and the wife had the lowest satisfaction in their sexual lives and in the marriage as a whole.
One of the researchers, Daniel Carlson, said, "What we find is that there's generally little to no downside to men being largely responsible for child care. We conclude that being an engaged father is very important to men, if it weren't, we wouldn't see such a high level of satisfaction. And it suggests that father engagement and sharing child care with one's partner is important to both sexes.
"We found that when men do the majority of the child care, their female partners exhibited the highest overall satisfaction with their sex lives.
A previous study had shown that women in heterosexual relationships tend to reward their husbands with good sex if the man helps in doing some house chores and in taking care of the kids.
The study pointed out that apart from the reward, the women would also have enough strength for sexual activities that might come later. It explained that most women are usually worn out by doing numerous house chores whilst taking care of the kids and at the end of such would have become very tired, such that they would be too weak to have an exciting sexual activity.
"But seeing the man by her side does not only save her of some stress, it is like an expression of love. It could even be annoying to a woman if a husband sits in the room and watches her do the chores only for her to finish the chores and the man would be asking for sex. If such a woman agrees, it would be out of an obligation and she may not enjoy it," the study added.
Another study had pointed out that sharing house chores and some other works the woman considers as tedious is one of the secrets to a happy marriage, coupled with equality, effective heart-to-heart talk, respect and showing love by words and actions.
Meanwhile, it is common to see people think that women are more gifted in taking care of children, but a neuroscientist, Dr. Sarina Saturn, of Oregon State University, United States, through a study, found that men can also care for children the same way mothers would.
She pointed out that a man's brain tends to be less active emotionally when the woman is around but that in the absence of the woman, men could be as caring as women, whilst retaining their paternal critical thinking ability.
In a similar account, Kyle Pruett of Yale Child Study Centre in the US, observed that apart from the sexual and the overall intimacy benefits, there are benefits when fathers care for children. The report pointed out that the more fathers took part in feeding, wearing diapers, among others, the more socially responsive the babies were and the more resilient the baby would be when confronted with life challenges.
In a study of children raised by men and those raised by women, the children raised by men were found to be very active and competent and they functioned above expected norms in the areas of adaptation and ability to solve problems.
Also, it was found that the more time a child spends with the father, the higher the baby scored in an infant development test. This means that men raising children may not be a bad idea after all.
Commenting on the study, a psychologist, Prof. Oni Fagboungbe, said women enjoy being showed love and affection and that one of the ways to do that would be for such a man to love the things that are of inestimable value to them.
He explained that women love their children and that a man who shows love to those children would surely be appreciated by the woman.
He said, "To women, children are of inestimable value. They love their children. So, when men show special affection to the children, automatically, the woman tends to adopt that love and reciprocate it and one of the ways they do that is to make the man happy in their own way. There is an adage that if you treat your wife like a queen, she will treat you like a king.
"A study had shown that divorced or single parents get into trouble because men are wise enough to pretend to love their children and in the process, the women tend to give in. They feel if you love me, you will love the things I love, and their children occupy a prominent place in their hearts."
Fagboungbe explained further that there was nothing wrong with a man taking care of the kids, adding that there are lots of differences between children raised by men and those raised by women.
He said a child with no input of a father figure tends to have feminine characteristics. "He's not likely to be assertive or bold because the father figure is missing."
He added, "It is a given that all babies love the mother at an initial stage, which develops from their proclivity for the mother's breasts, but at a stage, the male child tends to gravitate to the father. But if the father is not available at that time, the baby tends to be overwhelmed with feminism characteristics.
"Even when he is married, he is still obsessed with the mum, and according to the psychoanalytic theory of child development, such people are called mother's apron. It's a problem that must be resolved at the early stage. So, it's good when a man raises a child."