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Women should try giving up on being good

Women should try giving up on being good
Highlights

A new NHS survey shows women to be unhappier than men for almost their entire lives – until their mid-80s, by when the men with whom they have often...

A new NHS survey shows women to be unhappier than men for almost their entire lives – until their mid-80s, by when the men with whom they have often shared those lives have usually dropped dead. It is not an encouraging scenario. That women are unhappy until their partners die is not flattering for men. For the women, it is even worse – they are the miserable ones. Post-Weinstein, we fear that powerful men are toxic. As per the survey, it appears that everyday male partners are toxic, too.

Women are unhappiest in the middle years, with 24% aged between 45 and 54 classifiable as mentally ill. Kate Lovett, dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, explains that at this point women “are still more likely to bear the brunt of domestic and caring responsibilities”. The misery levels tail off as old age kicks in and the burdens of children and looking after ageing parents lessen.

Further analysis of the figures supports the case that men are the problem. Above the age of 65, more men than women have mental health problems – 19% against 14% – because men who are single, widowed or divorced are more likely to develop depression. In contrast, married women are the most likely to be miserable.

Maybe women are unhappier than men because they pin themselves to higher moral standards. Women should try being happy than good. They might be amazed at how much their partners appreciate it, because it will reduce their burden of male guilt. And, at the same time, it will cheer up the women themselves.

The Guardian

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