We all know that a good marriage is made up of compromise and hard work but did you know there are some factors that are out of your control? Science has some surprising findings about just what makes a union a lasting one.
Here’s seven of our favourite factors that contribute to a lasting marriage:
1. Have a cheap wedding
We all wanted that fairytale wedding but is it all it’s cracked up to be? According to research from Emory University, couples who have cheaper wedding ceremonies are more likely to stay together. Those whose wedding costs were higher than $20,000 divorced at a rate 3.5 times of those who spent just $5,000.
2. Watch movies together
Yup, something so simple as watching movies together can increase your chances of a lifelong union. A study in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that couples who watch movies and talk for 30 minutes afterwards saw their chances of divorce drop by 50 per cent. So next time your partner wants to see that new film, it could be doing you both good (even if you hate it)!
3. Meet online
Those who met their husband or wife online have a lower divorce rate to the rest of us, according to research by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. We love to love and the online environment helps us to make lasting connections, as surprising as it sounds!
4. Respond to your partner’s odd comments and musings
We’re the first to admit our partners can be a bit annoying but next time, instead of ignoring their random interjections, oblige them. Psychologist John Gottman says that when you give your partner attention, you are helping your relationship. Ignorance is hurtful and after studying these types of interactions between newlywed couples and following up with the couples six years later, Gottman found that still-married couples had paid attention to their partner during these little random interactions nine times out of ten, while couples that divorced had only paid attention to one another three times out of ten. Food for thought…
5. Buy a small, cheap engagement ring
You hear people say the bigger the better but they weren’t talking about the ring. It turns out that the higher the price of the rock, the more likely a divorce is on your horizon. New research has suggested that marriage failure in a survey of 3,000 has come down to the size and cost of the ring – those who spent $2,000+ were 1.3 times more like to get divorce than those who spent between $500 and $2,000.
6. More good moments than bad
It’s sounds like common sense but how many times have you heard a new divorcee say that there were too many bad moments than good? It seems some of us don’t know how to balance out negative issues with our partner and these can override the positive things that happen. So exactly how many good moments need to outweigh the bad? Science says a ratio of five to one.
A University of Washington study showed that in stable marriages, there are at least five times more positive interactions than negative ones. And when this ratio is out of whack, that’s when divorce is likely. Of course, we can’t feasibly keep a record of all our positive and negative moments but we can make a real effort to be caring and kind instead of angry and bitter.
7. Marry a similar spender
It’s no secret that many arguments in a marriage arise from money, so it’s not a surprise to learn that the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business found that if you marry someone who spends like you do, then you will have a more amicable relationship. With that said, we are more likely to choose someone who spends opposite to us.
Were any of these scientific findings the reason your marriage failed or succeeded? Do you think they are true or does a good marriage come down to hard work and a lot of love? Tell us what you think below.