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How to Avoid Divorce, According to Science

How to Avoid Divorce, According to Science

Many people have heard the statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce. Surprisingly, this figure is only true when comparing a given year’s divorces to that same year’s new marriages. However, when you consider the data in terms of total number of people to ever get married versus the number of total divorces, the figure is actually much lower. When considering the data this way, the divorce rate has actually never been higher than 42%. Surely this comes as a relief to married couples, as well as those looking to get married, but science offers even more insight into this societal tradition. New figures and studies from Randy Olson show us better than ever what factors are important in helping your marriage last. Whether you wish to keep your marriage a happy one, or are just beginning this relationship journey, the following eye-opening statistics offer a glimpse into the best ways to make a marriage last.

Before examining these graphs, it is critical to understand how they are compared. From Randy Olson’s website, the authors state that they “chose one category as the ‘reference point.’ That means that all of the other categories are compared to that category.” This simply indicates that every percentage displayed is relative to the category marked “Reference Point.”

Household Income

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    The first indicator in whether or not you are more likely to have a divorce is your household income. Since money problems are often serious sources of contention in relationships, perhaps this is unsurprising. Compared to those making $0-$25,000 a year, those making more are incrementally less likely to get divorced.

    Concern for Appearance and Earnings

    marriage-stability-attitude

      Another factor in how likely you are to get divorced is how much emphasis you put on your partner’s earning potential and good looks. If how much your partner makes is a concern, you are 18% more likely to divorce than those who don’t care. If you are concerned with your partner’s looks, you are 40% more likely to divorce than those who don’t. More than any other, this category speaks to how vital it is to love your significant other for who they are.

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      Religious Attendance

      marriage-stability-religious

        Religious affiliation is also an important role in your likelihood of divorce. Compared to those who do not attend church, those who sometimes attend are 10% more likely to divorce, while those who attend regularly are 46% less likely to divorce.

        Honeymoon

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        marriage-stability-honeymoon

          Having a honeymoon turns out to be much more than just a cultural tradition. Couples who have a honeymoon are 41% less likely to divorce than those who don’t.

          Wedding Attendees

          marriage-stability-wedding-attendance

            Similarly, those who invite large numbers of friends and family to their marriage ceremony are less likely to divorce than those who don’t include family or friends.

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            Cost of Wedding

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              On the other hand, how much money you spend on your wedding has the opposite effect. As larger numbers of people at the wedding might suggest that spending on your ceremony is a good thing, this matrix should not be ignored. Since the more you spend on your wedding actually indicates a higher chance of divorce, these two categories considered together instead suggest that large groups of genuine well wishers are more important than paying for an enormous expensive ceremony.

              Length of Time Dating

              marriage-stability-dating

                Finally, the last indicator of your likelihood of divorce is how long you date your significant other before the marriage. Unsurprisingly, the longer you spend with someone before marrying, the less likely you are to divorce. While these indicators in no way reflect the health of a given relationship, they offer some insights into the best approach to marriage if you’re in a healthy relationship you hope will stand the test of time.

                Featured photo credit: Adrian Dreßler via flickr.com

                More by this author

                Alicia Prince

                A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                Last Updated on October 17, 2019

                How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

                How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

                You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

                But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

                Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

                What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

                Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

                So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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                1. Recognize the Signs

                If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

                Some telltale signs include:

                • You’re always on your phones.
                • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
                • You aren’t together during important events.
                • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
                • You don’t make plans or date nights.
                • You’re not happy.

                If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

                2. Try New Things Together

                Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

                Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

                Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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                Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

                3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

                Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

                Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

                Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

                4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

                One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

                Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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                5. Cook Meals Together

                Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

                One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

                Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

                If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

                6. Have a Regular Date Night

                Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

                The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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                Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

                • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
                • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
                • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
                • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
                • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
                • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
                • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

                Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

                Final Thoughts

                The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

                • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
                • Lowers divorce rates
                • Improves communication
                • Reduces marital boredom
                • Bonds couples closer
                • Improves friendship
                • Boosts health
                • Reduces stress

                These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

                It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

                These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

                Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

                Reference

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