Being in love is no key to marital bliss, says study


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.

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 per cent of couples without children born before marriage.

A couple’s parents also have a role to play, with the study showing some 16 per cent of men and women whose parents ever separated or divorced experienced marital separation themselves compared to 10 per cent for those whose parents did not separate. Partners who are on their second or third marriage are 90 per cent more likely to separate than spouses who are both in their first marriage.

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