Tuesday, July 14, 2009

NOW They Tell Me!

SYDNEY, July 14 (Reuters Life!) - Living happily ever after needn't only be for fairy tales. Australian researchers have identified what it takes to keep a couple together, and it's a lot more than just being in love. A couple's age, previous relationships and even whether they smoke or not are factors that influence whether their marriage is going to last, according to a study by researchers from the Australian National University. The study, entitled "What's Love Got to Do With It", tracked nearly 2,500 couples -- married or living together -- from 2001 to 2007 to identify factors associated with those who remained together compared with those who divorced or separated. It found that a husband who is nine or more years older than his wife is twice as likely to get divorced, as are husbands who get married before they turn 25. (I was 23 when I got married.) Children also influence the longevity of a marriage or relationship, with one-fifth of couples who have kids before marriage -- either from a previous relationship or in the same relationship -- having separated compared to just nine percent of couples without children born before marriage. (My wife had a 5-year-old son.) Women who want children much more than their partners are also more likely to get a divorce. A couple's parents also have a role to play in their own relationship, with the study showing some 16 percent of men and women whose parents ever separated or divorced experienced marital separation themselves compared to 10 percent for those whose parents did not separate. (My parents were divorced.) Also, partners who are on their second or third marriage are 90 percent more likely to separate than spouses who are both in their first marriage. (My wife was on her second marriage) Not surprisingly, money also plays a role, with up to 16 percent of respondents who indicated they were poor or where the husband -- not the wife -- was unemployed saying they had separated, compared with only nine percent of couples with healthy finances. (I was in the military. Do the math) And couples where one partner, and not the other, smokes are also more likely to have a relationship that ends in failure. Factors found to not significantly affect separation risk included the number and age of children born to a married couple, the wife's employment status and the number of years the couple had been employed. The study was jointly written by Dr Rebecca Kippen and Professor Bruce Chapman from The Australian National University, and Dr Peng Yu from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
Looks like I was doomed from the beginning!


Joe said...

Interesting study.

The problem with most marriages (as with my first)occurs way before the wedding.

That "love" we think we feel when we are "in love" is not real love at all.

That's because real love is not a feeling. The feeling comes AFTER real love.

Real love is a decision to provide for the other person everything he or she needs that I CAN provide, and expecting absolutely nothing in return.

When both partners enter marriage with that approach, the marriage has a much better "chance" of succeeding.

That's really, really tough and really, really rare, but it is the secret of the longest marriages.

Mark said...

So, LR, who divorced who?

Lone Ranger said...

She wanted the divorce, but would have been perfectly happy to stay married forever just to keep me from moving on. So, I had to file.