Couples meet, they fall in love, they make a commitment, move in together or get married (if allowed) and then what? Over half break up! Obviously, LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH to sustain a relationship.
There was a study by researchers from the Australian National University entitled "What's Love Got to Do With It" that tracked close to 2,500 couple from 2001 to 2007. The purpose was to figure out qualities or factors that could identify who stayed together versus who divorced or separated.
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Some of the major factors identified were:
- Husbands who are nine or more years older than their wives were twice as likely to get divorced, as are husbands who get married before they turned 25.
- Twenty percent of couples who have kids before marriage, either from a previous relationship or from their current relationship, separated compared to nine percent of couples without children born before marriage.
- Sixteen percent of men and women whose parents separated or divorced experienced marital separation themselves compared to ten percent for those whose parents did not separate.
- Partners on their second or third marriage are ninety percent more likely to separate than those who are both in their first marriage.
- Women who want children much more than their partners are more likely to get a divorce.
While this research gives us some interesting information, it still doesn't give us the SOLUTION! How can we stay in our relationships and be happy and be passionate?
There's not short answer or I would only have to see couples in my counseling practice for a single session or two, yet here are two suggestions I have (and have blogged about more extensively in the links below):
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There is extensive research that couples that have a ratio of five positive interactions for every one negative interaction are significantly more likely to stay together. In fact, studies of this ratio indicate it as over 80% accurate in predicting divorce. Read more about it by clicking on my blog post: Have Fun In Your Relationship
The 3 C's of Relationship: Chemistry, Compatibility & Commitment!
I've been telling my couples about the 3 C's for years and while we each make one of them more than the others, we DO need some kind of balance. To read more about the 3 C's, you can go here.