Thursday, 16 Jul, 2009 Offbeat

Love is Not the Only Thing That Keeps a Marriage


Australian scientists managed to discover the things that keep a couple together, and love is not the only one on the list. Researchers from the Australian National University consider that marriage can be influence by various factors such as a couple's age and previous relationships of each of the partners.

The team entitled their study "What's Love Got to Do With It". The research involved the analysis of 2,500 married of cohabiting couples. Scientists tracked these couple in the period between 2001 and 2007 and managed to spot the factors associated with couples who continued living together and compared them to factors related to those who split up or got divorced.

The study found that if the wife is 9 or more years younger than her husband, the latter is twice as likely to file for divorce. The durability of marriage or relationship is also influenced by children. It was found that 20 percent of couples who have children before marriage (whether the kids are from previous relationship or the same relationship) split up compared to 9 percent of couples who did not have children before marriage.

A higher chance to file for divorce is registered among couples in which women want children much more than their significant others. Obviously parents play an important role in a couple's relationship. The research showed that 16 percent of people whose parents broke up followed the steps of their relatives, compared to only 10 percent of men and women whose parents did not split up. You can learn more about relationships from other stories published here at

Another obvious finding of the research is that partners who got married for the second or third time are 90 percent more likely to split up, compared to those who are in their first marriage. Money is also an important player in marriage. About 16 percent of couples separated either because they were poor or due to the fact that the husband was unemployed, while only 9 percent got divorced when their financial life was stable. In addition, couples in which one partner smokes are also more likely to end their relationship, reports Reuters.

Here is the list of factors that will less likely affect the risk of divorce:

- number or age of children;

- if the wife is unemployed;

- the number of years that husband and wife were employed.

The research was written by Dr Rebecca Kippen and Professor Bruce Chapman from The Australian National University who cooperated with Dr Peng Yu from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

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