Longevity in marriage may rest on a roll of the dice, but you can load the odds in your favor. Recent studies find there are definite choices you can make if you want a relationship that lasts. Divorce-proof your marriage with these tips.
1. Pick a nice boy.
Your husband’s agreeable personality and good health will go a long way toward ensuring a lasting relationship. These characteristics appear paramount in preventing conflict among partners who have been together a long time, according to a study from University of Chicago researchers. The researchers found that the same traits in wives played less of a role in limiting marital conflict, perhaps because of different expectations among women and men in durable relationships.
2. Marry someone your own age.
Or close to it. Partners are more likely to divorce as the difference in their ages widens, says the Emory University study.
3. Invest three years before you wed.
You fell in love at first sight. You told your BFF a week later that you’d met the man you are going to marry. Hold up there! A 2014 survey conducted at Emory University found that couples who stay together three years before marrying have a better chance of a long-lasting union. Three years may seem like forever, but research says that’s the best length of time to put into a relationship if you want to make sure the marriage lasts.
4. Wait until your 23rd birthday to commit.
Want to cut your chance of divorce in half? Wait until you are 23 and earn your college degree before making a huge commitment such as marrying or moving in together. Take the big step at 18 and chances of divorce hover around 60 percent, says a 2014 study in the Journal of Marriage and Family. Delay until at least age 23 and watch the divorce rate drop to around 30 percent. Demographers say divorce is much less likely for those who hold a college degree.
5. Don’t bankroll divorce with an expensive wedding.
Wedding sites tell us the average cost of a wedding is running about $27,000. Go ahead and deplete your savings on an expensive wedding, and you are inviting divorce. Research says couples who spend more than $20,000 on the event send their chances of divorce up to 46 percent. Hold costs below $5,000, and you cut your divorce probability to 18 percent. The same warning goes for an urge to splurge on the engagement ring.
6. Attend church.
The likelihood of divorcing is 46 percent less for couples who go to religious services regularly, according to the Emory University survey.
The single most important key to solving most marital problems is learning to communicate. Listen to the 700 people who participated in the 2015 Cornell Marriage Advice Project. They voiced the experience of 40,000 years of wedded bliss.
For more advice on guaranteeing a marriage that lasts, read Ways to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage.