New Study Says Love is Not Enough in Marriage

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

A new study has found that couples who want a long and happy marriage need more than just love to make their relationship to work.

This finding comes from a study conducted by researchers at the Australian National University entitled, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” Researchers tracked 2,500 couples from 2001 to 2007 to identify factors associated with those who remained together and those who divorced or separated.

The study found that age matters in marriages. If a husband is nine or more years older than his wife, the marriage is twice as likely to fail.

Children are also a powerful influence on a marriage. For instance, women who want children more than their partner are more likely to get divorced.

The study also found that one-fifth of couples who have children before marriage – either from a previous relationship or with the same partner – end up divorced. Only nine percent of couples who have no children born before marriage end in divorce.

Not surprisingly, 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.

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.

Money can also play a negative role in relationships. The study found that up to 16 percent of respondents who identified themselves as poor or where the husband (not the wife) was unemployed ended up separated. Only nine percent of couples with adequate finances split.

Couples where one partner smokes but not the other also tended to end in failure.
According to this study, factors that didn’t seem to make a difference were country of birth, religious background and education levels.

The study resulted in an overall conclusion that a quarter of relationships will end within six years and 50 per cent by 25 years.

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