An overweight husband and a thin wife has been a sitcom staple since Ralph and Alice Kramden on ‘The Honeymooners.’

According to a new study, that type of pairing may also be one of the keys to marital bliss.

Researchers from the University of Tennessee followed 169 just-married couples for four years, asking them questions about the state of the union and tracking their body mass index (BMI.)

They found that while marital satisfaction always declines with time, it does so less when the woman maintains a lower BMI than the man.

And it’s not just a case of the man being happier when wife stays trim — wives report similar higher levels of marital satisfaction when they’re the ones with the smaller BMI.

According to doctoral candidate Andrea Melzer, who worked on the study, there is actually good news in the findings for bigger women

The great take-home message from our study is that women of any size can be happy in their relationships with the right partner,” she told ABC News. “It’s relative weight that matters, not absolute weight. It’s not that they have to be small.”



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