Most of the fairy tales, cartoons, and movies we grew up with, teach us that at some point you’ll meet the right person, fall in love, overcome some obstacles and then you’ll marry and live happily after.
However, in reality, more than one-third of marriages are expected to end in divorce within 30 years. So, there’s no doubt that living ‘happily ever after’ requires hard work. And, as it turns out, there are some surprising things that can make it even harder.
According to relationship experts, there are certain ‘risk factors’ which can allude to a troublesome marriage. By no means do these cause divorce or guarantee that the marriage is turning sour. But, they do increase a couple’s probability of going separate ways.
Many of these factors can’t be controlled. Nevertheless, you can always try to make some little tweaks in order to strengthen your relationship. These could be anything from exercising together to learning to communicate better or adjusting your financial expectations.
Read on below to see if you and your partner fit into any of the divorce scenarios.
1. You’re A Child Of Divorced Parents
Seeing your parents go through a divorce can contribute to the probability of you experiencing divorce yourself. However, according to a new study in Psychological Science, this may actually have more to do with nature than nurture. Researchers found that the patterns of marriage and divorce of adults who had been adopted as kids were more similar to those of their biological parents, not their adoptive ones.
2. You Have Different Drinking Habits Than Your Spouse
There are always couples who have all of the same friends and have fun together at the same bars and restaurants. But, what happens when one person is fond of drinking and partying, while the other isn’t? In a 2014 University of Buffalo study, researchers discovered that 45 to 55 percent of couples where one person was a heavy drinker and the other wasn’t, divorced before their 10th anniversary. On the other hand, when both partners indulged in drinking or neither did, only around 35 percent of couples split up.
3. You Got Married Waiting Too Long
As it turns out, those parents who told their children to wait for marriage and make sure he/she is the right one, were completely right. Recent statistics indicate that those who get married in their teens or early 20s are at a much higher risk of divorce than those who get married in their late 20s and early 30s. Yet, you don’t want to wait too long, since waiting after age 32 may once again increase your divorce risk.
4. You’re Very Good Looking
This can explain most of the shocking celebrity divorces. It seems partners who score high on the scale of attractiveness, have a harder time staying together. A recent paper published in the journal Personal Relationships showed that physical attractiveness was truly associated with a higher likelihood of getting divorced. Good-looking married people were also more vulnerable to temptation than average-looking married people.
5. You Paid Lots Of Money For Your Wedding
Did your wedding cost a fortune? Emory University researchers found that those who spent more than $20,000 on their wedding are at a higher risk of divorce than those whose weddings cost between $5,000 and $10,000. In general, couples who spent around $1,000 for their weddings were least likely to split up.
6. You Didn’t Waste Time Getting Pregnant
Apparently, how quickly you have a child may affect your marriage. According to data from the CDC, women who waited at least 8 months after their holy matrimony were more likely to make it to at least 15 years of marriage. On the contrary, women who had a baby before the wedding day or within the first seven months were at a high risk of divorce.
7. Your First Child Is A Daughter
There is another data which suggests that couples whose first baby is a girl have a higher rate of divorce than couples with a firstborn son. A provocative 2014 study argues that those marriages who are already on the rocks might actually produce baby girls thanks to a concept known as the female survival advantage. Allegedly, girls are more likely than boys to be born into already strained marriages.
8. You Don’t Have A College Degree
Research shows that those who have only a high school diploma or GED are more likely to end their marriage than couples who have finished college or higher education. Therefore, earning at least a bachelor’s degree is not only good for yourself, but for your marriage too.
9. You Grew Up Without A Religious Father
Yet another study states that women who grew up in religious households are more likely to stay beside their husbands than women without a religious upbringing. Those who were not part of any religion had only a 43% success rate of their marriage lasting 20 years. If you think about it, this could be due to the fact that many religions teach people to fight for their marriage to succeed and consider divorce only as a final option.
10. You’ve Already Been Divorced Before
Just because you’ve got one or two marriages behind you, doesn’t mean that all your relationships from that point onward are doomed. Nevertheless, because you know what it’s like to go through a divorce, you may be more willing to do it again. According to CDC data, about 40 % of second marriages end within 10 years.