From 2001 through 2007, Australian researchers Dr. Rebecca Kippen, Professor Bruce Chapman, and Dr. Peng Yu tracked 2,482 couples. The study from Melbourne Institute, What's love got to do with it? Homogamy and dyadic approaches to understanding marital instability, examines the "factors which currently determine marital longevity."
"We find the following factors are associated with higher risk of marital separation: large age difference between husband and wife, wife has a much stronger preference than her husband for a(nother) child, young age at marriage, separation of husband's parents, resident children born before marriage, dissatisfaction with the relationship, low household income, husband is unemployed, wife drinks more than her husband, and one spouse smokes where the other does not ... Perhaps surprisingly, we find that the following differences in variables between marriage partners are not associated with separation: education, country of birth, and religiosity."
So what are you to do if your marriage has several negative factors listed in the study? Two thoughts:
- First, don't panic and remember that your marriage is unique. Bob and I are about as opposite as we can be, have weathered some rough patches together, and we are approaching our 46th wedding anniversary. If you do sense that your marriage is in trouble, don't wait to get professional help.
- Second, make time for one another on a regular basis. We mean time to talk, time to have fun, time to connect with each other.
More Tips for a Long Lasting Marriage