Study: It’s the Little Things that Drive a Marriage Apart



Here’s an interesting study we came across today: A new 10-year survey out of Australia found that it’s the little things—like differences in personality and habit—that cause unhappy marriages and divorce (as opposed to, say, the larger relationship road bumps you may expect).

Participants were quizzed about income, labor division, relationship satisfaction and issues that lead to divorce, and the results were used to determine the characteristics of a happy and unhappy man and woman.

The survey concluded that both men and women are happiest during the early stages of marriage, when there are no kids and both partners are in good mental and physical health. Both parties also prefer that their spouse is five years younger or more, neither smokes, the woman doesn’t work and their partner is agreeable, conscientious and emotionally stable.

Alternatively, unhappy men and women are generally older and have been in their relationships for longer periods of time. Also, the least happy couples are those with major personality differences (she’s extroverted, he’s not) that can, over time, cause turmoil within a relationship.

As the author points out, you may not notice these “little” differences when you first meet someone, but after living together for many years they begin to add up.

To see the whole study for yourself, click here.

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