Although giving mom a break from the kids is one way for dads to keep the family happy, in order to be the happiest, dad's going to have to do some household chores too.

According to a new study, two factors contribute to marital quality: spending time with the kids and helping out around the house, HealthDayreported.

"In our study, the wives thought father involvement with the kids and participation in household work are all interrelated and worked together to improve marital quality," Adam Galovan, lead author of the study and researcher at the University of Missouri. "They think being a good father involves more than just doing things involved in the care of children."

Galovan determined this through data from a 2005 study that used marriage licenses gathered from the Utah Department of Health. From these marriage licenses, he surveyed 160 couples between 21 and 55 years old. They were all in their first marriage and had been married for at least five years. Almost 97 percent of them were white, with 98 percent of the men and 16 percent of the women employed full-time. Their average yearly income was between $50,000 and $60,000.

For the survey, each couple reported who was more responsible, if neither was responsible, or if they were both responsible, for completing 20 household chores. The fathers were then asked how involved they felt in their children's lives, and the mothers also rated their husband's involvement. Everyone rated how happy they were with the division of household chores and with their marriage.

Galovan found that the men and women differed, almost inversely, with their ratings. Wives rated the father-child relationship and father involvement the highest, followed by their happiness with how household chores are carried out. Husbands rated their happiness with the division of household chores highest, followed by their wife's feelings about the father-child relationship, and then their involvement with the children.

Galvon was surprised to find that it didn't matter how the work was divided, as long as both parents participated in chores and taking care of the children.

"If a man wants to get into his wife's good graces he should do a chore," Laurie Gerber, president of Handel Group Life Coaching in New York City, told HealthDay.

Gerber agrees with the study's findings, saying that women like the helping hand, even though men don't realize it intuitively.

Sometimes, the only way to get that done is by holding the "husband's feet to the fire every single day," Leslie Bennetts said.

Married for 22 years now, she says that at the beginning of their marriage, she told her husband that she wasn't going to be "any husband's unpaid servant." She says that her husband, Jeremy, recognized the "righteousness of the principle involved and the intransigence of the woman he'd married, and proceeded to pitch in."

"When you put your foot down and make it clear that you won't take no for an answer, somehow the kids' rooms get cleaned, the groceries bought, the laundry folded," she said. "It really does work, I promise."

Source: Galovan A, Holmes E, Schramm D. Father Involvement, Father-Child Relationship Quality, and Satisfaction With Family Work: Actor and Partner Influences on Marital Quality. Journal of Family Issues. 2013.