What exactly is the magic behind a working marriage? There’s been a lot of speculation behind this question, but today we’re going to look at the science behind some of the answers.
What makes a successful couple? We can’t always choose the ones we love, but we can at least go into a relationship knowing our odds.
According to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, young love is as fleeting as it is wonderful. Only 65 percent of college graduates who marry before the age of 26 will ever make it past their 20th Anniversary, while 81 percent who marry after age 26 will.
It is a common belief that living together helps test the waters of a relationship, but statistics show that this is not always the case. In fact, according to studies at Brown University, a woman who has lived with at least one other guy will be 40 percent more likely to divorce. Researchers speculate that it may have something to do with the kind of people who are drawn to these living arrangements (people who have a difficult time committing). It may also have something to do with the loose attitudes (bad habits) associated with living together. Couples who habitually cohabit learn that the easiest way to get out of a rocky relationship is to step out (divorce). If you absolutely must live together, get engaged first.
Couples with a previous marriage under their belt have anywhere from a 60 to 90 percent chance of experiencing a second divorce. If they have even more failed marriages, you don’t even want to know your chances. In a study of over 5,000 struggling couples, researchers found that those who divorced were rarely happier than those who stuck it out. Even more interesting, 86 percent of those who hung in for five years reported working out their differences and being happier than ever.
Like Mother, Like Daughter; Like Father, Like Son
They say that you can tell a lot about a mate by looking at their parents, and when it comes to a successful relationship, this is partially true. Children who come from divorced parents are 40 percent more likely to experience a divorce themselves as adults, according to studies at Cambridge University. Even more interesting, if those parents remarry a second time, that child will then stand a whopping 91 percent chance of divorce. This is believed to be caused by the underlying message to kids that relationships are disposable.
Your Daily Five – Good relationship habits make all the difference.
Now that we;ve discussed some of the aspects of relationships that we may not have control over, here are some ideas that can help turn a negative outlook into a working marriage, just by making these habits a part of your everyday life.
Walk Together (Hold Hands)
Some people say that you can guess the couples who won’t be married 20 years down the road, just by watching which husbands walk several feet in front of their wives, who callously linger behind. Walking side by side and holding hands is a clear message to your partner and those around you that you are a couple, and committed to that bond.
I knew a couple who gradually drifted apart. It began very subtly, with the husband sleeping in a separate room. He was a night owl, and would say he didn’t want to wake her. One day they woke up in separate rooms, and realized that they were no longer a couple. Sleeping in the same bed together is important for keeping your intimate bond strong. You should also never storm off to bed angry. You should always say goodnight first. This lets your partner know that your relationship is more important than any disagreement.
Take Time Out
No matter how busy you may be, always take time for your partner. According to psychologists, 33 percent of divorce-destined couples who turn to their partner and say, “Look at this, honey” will only be ignored. Working partners turn to each other at least 86 percent of the time their spouse requests their attention.
Working couples also have a knack for seeing the good in each other. Yes, she may have a husband that dresses their daughter for school in an orange and yellow t-shirt with pink jeans, but at least he’s making an effort. Men who do not feel comfortable spending time with their daughter, increase the chances of a failed marriage by five percent. Resist the urge to micromanage these occasions. Some things are better left unsaid.