The odds may not be in your favour when it comes to the days after the big day
According to Statistics Canada, the divorce rate over the past 20 years has fluctuated between 35 per cent and 42 per cent. Eek! How do so many couples go from pledging themselves to one another to fighting over who gets to keep the family pet? (I never liked Patches anyways, so you can have him…)
Well, researchers have been trying to figure out what causes couples to split, and they’ve found some pretty strong indicators you may not make it to “til death do us part” (or til one of us gets bored and leaves).
Here are four scientifically-proven hurdles your marriage may face, and how to overcome them so you don’t become another divorce statistic.
1. You have a lot of exes.
Several studies have shown that those who have dated and slept with a higher number of people in the past tend to have less happy marriages, because they feel dissatisfied with how their spouse stacks up to their (numerous) former flames.
So how do you stop comparing your present lover to past ones? Make a list of reasons why it could never work out with your exes. Then write a list of reasons why you love your current spouse. It could help the next time they tick you off and you suddenly start day-dreaming about “The One That Got Away”. Also, if you stop daydreaming about all of alternatives out there, you’re more likely to stick with your loved one.
2. You Tweet too much.
Scientists have discovered what celebrities and teenage girls have known for years: heavy Twitter users are likely to experience tweet-related conflict with their romantic partners. This digital drama often led to more negative outcomes in relationships, including cheating, breakups and divorce.
Stop technology from creeping into your lives by designating times and spaces where you unplug for the evening (we’re sure you can think of some great activities that don’t involve social media). Also, don’t constantly follow each other or Tweet @ one another. Save the stories of your day for face-to-face time so you can bond in real life and not through a hashtag.
3. You never watch/discuss films.
Researchers at the University of Rochester found that couples who watched five movies about relationships per month, and then talked about the movies together, were 50 per cent less likely to get divorced in the first few years of marriage than those who didn’t because the films made participants feel more introspective about their behaviour towards their partner.
So, the old dinner-and-a-movie date is still a solid idea after getting hitched! Head to a theatre, or watch at home, and then discuss over a meal. Be open to your partner’s opinions and you may learn something about how to deal with them a bit better in the future. However, if that’s not their thing, promise to make it up to them with an activity they like next time.
4. Only one of you likes to drink—a lot.
Apparently the couple that drinks together stays together. Researchers have found that marriages that have only one heavy drinker are 50 per cent more likely to end in divorce. (Heavy drinking was defined as “drinking six or more drinks at one time or drinking to intoxication.” Really? Is that a lot?)
If you and your spouse aren’t on the same page when it comes to imbibing, try talking to them about why they like to drink so often, and find activities that require sobriety to help you bond without booze. You could also take after them and indulge in a glass or two on a designated drinking night. Just make sure you have a cab ride home!