PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a popular saying: Happy wife, happy life. But it may actually be more than just a saying.

A new study published in Health Psychology finds having a happy spouse may boost physical health.

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The study of nearly 2,000 middle-aged heterosexual couples found that people with happy spouses were much more likely to report better health over time.

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Researchers found people with unhappy spouses reported more physical ailments.

“This finding significantly broadens assumptions about the relationship between happiness and health, suggesting a unique social link,” said William Chopik, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University and principal investigator of the study.

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“Simply having a happy partner may enhance health as much as striving to be happy oneself.”