Obviously, there is no such thing as “the perfect wife.” Every human being has some flaws, but the important thing  when looking for a potential partner it is important is to be aware of which flaws we can live with. As one husband said of his wife “she’s not perfect, but she’s perfect for me.”

Believe it or not, there is actually a formula for the perfect wife. Swiss researchers analysed over 1,000 couples between the ages of 19 and 75, and boiled down their statistics into a formula that increases your likelihood of having a long and happy marriage by 20 percent: the perfect wife should be five years younger than her groom, come from the same cultural background and be at least a quarter more intelligent than her husband (many women would say that this last requirement is not difficult!)

All kidding aside, although mere statistics will never guarantee a long, happy marriage, the researchers’ findings do ring with some truth. For the most part, women tend to mature emotionally more quickly than men due to being more in contact with their emotions from a young age. Until recently, it has not been socially acceptable for men to express their emotions, so most lag slightly behind in this area, which is one of the reasons why women tend to prefer older men and vice versa.

Finding the perfect wife within your own culture will significantly improve your odds of having a successful marriage. Of course, there are always exceptions, but having a shared religious and cultural history facilitates understanding between the two of you and removes two major reasons for marital conflict right from the start. Everything from what you eat to how to decorate your home for the holidays and how to raise your children becomes much easier with a shared cultural background.

Jewish history, culture and religious tradition have all stressed the importance of intelligence, so it’s no wonder that studies have proven them among the most intelligent people in the world. A Jewish man values a smart wife, even if she is smarter than he is. Any man secure in himself does not find an intelligent woman threatening, and a secure man makes for a happy marriage. An intelligent wife is an asset when dealing with the problems of day-to-day living, not to mention making a positive impression on your colleagues at a business dinner with her intelligent, informed commentary.

But no matter what the statistics say, ultimately, the perfect wife is the person who loves you and understands you, and if there is love above all, the odds of a long and happy marriage are good.