What’s Love Got to Do With It

A couple of months ago the Toronto Star report on a recent study on relationships, love, and marriage. The study “tracked nearly 2,500 couples – married or living together – from 2001 to 2007 to identify factors associated with those who remained together, compared with those who divorced or separated.” Here are a few of the things I found interesting:

  • About 16 per cent of people whose parents separated or divorced experienced their own marital separation, compared to 10 per cent for those whose parents stayed together.
    My comment: This seems pretty obvious. If you are brought up in an environment, it will affect you in some way. I actually would have thought that the effect would have been greater.
  • Partners who are on their second or third marriage are 90 per cent more likely to separate than those in their first marriage.
    D’uh! This is very obvious.
  • Couples in which the man is nine or more years older than his wife are twice as likely to get divorced, as are men who get married before they turn 25.
    I get the big age difference being a problem, but the early marriage point was interesting.

I don’t know if it is true of all faiths, but certainly Mormons seem to get married young (compared to society). My wife and I were both married when we were 21. There are probably 3 other couples in the ward right now who are married and under 25. I’m sure there are many other couples who got married before 25. I’d be curious what other factors influence that age.

  • Did the man live outside the home before getting married?
  • Does religion play a role?
  • What about the age of the woman?
  • How does marriage counseling affect the likelihood for divorce?
  • What about an even younger age. If you are twice as likely to get divorced if the man who is under 25, what about men who are under 20?

When I counsel with young couples, I rarely think of their actual age. It is usually more about emotional and spiritual maturity. I haven’t counseled anyone NOT to get married, but I do not hesitate to share with them some of the struggles that they will face, and try to help them prepare for it.

Published by Graham

Former YM President, EQ President, Bishop, and Stake Institute Teacher. Now back to being the YM President. Happily married to Lisa, with 3 beautiful children.

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