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19 Facts Explaining Why Some Couples Get Divorced and Why Others Celebrate 30 Years Together

Many people know the unfortunate statistics: 50% of marriages end in divorce. But psychologists claim that it doesn’t have to be this way and that about 75% of married couples have a chance to stay together for their entire lives.

We at Bright Side always hope for the best. We hope that the facts we’ve collected here about marriage and divorce will help you to build a really happy relationship. And at the end of the article, there is a bonus — a simple and very effective way to solve family conflict.

  • Many couples are sure that if they live together before getting married, they will get used to each other and will have a better marriage. The thing is, living together before marriage makes the marriage less stable and increases the likelihood of divorce.

  • Scientists found that the more money a couple spends on the wedding ceremony, the higher the chance the marriage has of falling apart. Also, if the ring is very expensive, chances are the marriage will not last.

  • Good news: the same study shows that a full-fledged honeymoon improves the relationship between spouses. So, it’s better to spend the money on a trip, rather than on a big ceremony or very expensive rings.

  • Psychologists recommend counting the ratio of positive and negative interactions in a couple. A conflict is a negative interaction and going somewhere together, a romantic dinner, or a good talk are examples of positive interactions. Happy couples have a ratio of 5:1, so they have 5 positive interactions for each negative one. The lower the first number is the worse it is for the marriage.

  • Photographers claim that it’s possible to predict the development of marriage by how the couple cuts the wedding cake. Most couples, where one of the partners is fooling around, divorce very soon afterward.

  • In a marriage, it is important to give your partner freedom. But remember that too much activity outside of marriage destroys it. Also, if one of the partners needs too much attention on social media, this is bad for the marriage.

  • The excessive activity of one of the spouses makes the other one suspicious. Many people start thinking about divorce just because their partners spend a lot of time on their phones.

  • Most people think that children make a marriage stronger. In families with children, there are more conflicts because most men become unsatisfied with their marriage after a child is born.

  • Another popular opinion is that the more children, the fewer chances you’ll get divorced. The first child decreases the chance of divorce by 30%, the second and the third child don’t have the same effect. Still, couples with children have more arguments but their marriages are stronger.

  • Common interests don’t make families stronger. In order for them to work, there has to be mutual respect. For example, there are 2 families where the spouses have a common hobby — rafting. But one couple may treat this hobby as a way to spend time together, and the other — as a duty to do something together.

  • The spouses that use the words “we,” “our,” and “us” more than “I,” “my,” and “me” are happier and divorce less often. If they love recalling their past together, they have a very good chance of staying together.

  • Watching romantic comedies together is a great way to become closer, safely discuss family problems, and even avoid getting divorced.

  • Psychologist John Gottman, who correctly predicts divorces in 90% of cases, named what he calls the “4 horsemen” — behavior models that, after 5-6 years, almost definitely lead to breaking up. They are criticism, contempt, defensiveness (when one of the partners refuses to see the position of the other one), and stonewalling (emotional lockdown).

  • The most serious problem, that always points at a coming divorce, is contempt. This is a very destructive feeling. Contempt starts with rolling eyes when talking to each other or joking at each other in a mean manner.

  • The main visual sign of contempt is facial asymmetry. If a partner grins showing their teeth, pursing their lips, or lifting the corner of their mouth, they feel contempt.

  • Married people need problems. It gets boring to live in a calm relationship, and even if there is no real trouble, they will create it. Trying to make your life as peaceful as possible is the surest way to a divorce. To make a marriage stronger, people need to solve problems together regularly.

  • A mortgage can be a good source of necessary “problems.” It turns out that paying for something together makes marriages stronger. These couples have 5-10 times fewer divorces.

  • The truth is good. But if you constantly tell your partner about something you don’t like about them, you’re making the marriage weaker. It’s better to talk, not about the things you don’t like, but about the things that you want to get. For example, instead of, "You don’t give me enough attention, you could say, “I want more attention from you.”

  • Constantly saving money has a negative effect on a marriage. Spouses who spend a lot of time earning and saving money usually drift apart.

Bonus: To make a marriage stronger, you need a sheet of paper, a pen, and... 21 minutes a year.

Scientists did an experiment where married couples spent 7 minutes, 3 times a year, describing their conflicts on paper. The only condition they had was to talk about their arguments as if a third party was describing them. It turned out that this experience makes marriages stronger and increases the level of satisfaction in a relationship.

Try the habit of “documenting” conflicts: who said what and how it all led to the result. If you describe the events from a neutral position, there is a big chance of identifying the real reason for the conflict and stopping the snowball of arguments.

Do you have your recipe for a happy marriage? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

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