These are the things that can lead to divorce even if you're not married yet
Maintaining a relationship is difficult sometimes. As much as you love each other, there will always be certain things that get in the way - and sometimes we can't help that. However, with as many as 40 to 50 per cent of marriages in the US ending in divorce, it certainly seems like something we need to work on.
Of course, there's no real scientific way of determining whether a couple are going to be happy together forever or not - but there are certainly some factors which increase the likelihood of getting separated. Here are just some of the things which could turn a match made in heaven into the divorce from hell...
1. Being too happy at the start
It may seem contradictory, but it's been proven that couples who are "giddily" affectionate at the start of their marriage are more likely to divorce than those who had learned that their entire lives did not have to revolve around their partner. This was discovered by psychologist Ted Huston, who kept track of 168 couples from their wedding days onwards for 13 years. Really, it's better have a slow-burning relationship than one which is very intense at the beginning.
2. Level of education
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
"The chance of a marriage ending in divorce was lower for people with more education, with over half of marriages of those who did not complete high school having ended in divorce compared with approximately 30 per cent of marriages of college graduates."
However, the study that this information comes from is almost forty years old - so more research needs to be conducted on this particular topic.
3. Tying the knot at the wrong age
It will probably come as no surprise to most people that couples who get married in their teenage years are more likely to divorce than those who wait. However, it's also been found that people who get hitched after the age of 32 are also more at risk of getting a divorce than couples who sealed the deal during their twenties. Nicholas Wolfinger, the man who conducted this research, said that, "For almost everyone, the late twenties seems to be the best time to tie the knot."
4. Showing contempt for your partner
Before you jump in with, "well, duh", psychologist John Gottman identified four specific behaviours within a relationship which are scarily accurate when it comes to predicting divorce. They are: contempt (seeing your partner as inferior), criticism (making negative views of your partner known), defensiveness (deflecting or playing the victim), and stonewalling (refusing to engage). Gottman dubbed these behaviours, 'the four horsemen of the apocalypse'.
5. Avoiding conflict
Again, this seems like a contradictory thing to say - as surely steering clear from conflict avoids disagreements? Not so. Issues in a marriage arise when one person attempts to bring up or instigate a problem, and the other refuses to engage. Rather than the problem getting sorted, it is left without resolution which, after a while, leads to a mass of unresolved conflicts driving a wedge between the couple.
6. Not working full-time
Or, more specifically, having/being a husband that doesn't work full-time. According to a 2016 study by Alexandre Killewald, 3.3 per cent of couples where the husband didn't have a full-time job got divorced within the year the research took place, compared with only 2.5 per cent of couples where the husband did work a full week. Apparently, this has nothing to do with money, and is more founded on archaic notions that men are supposed to be the breadwinners of a family.
7. Describing the relationship negatively
In another study conducted by John Gottman, the psychologist found that the way people spoke about their relationship - whether they said "I" or "we", how well they built off of what their partner said, and whether they used positive or negative words to describe their marriage - went a long way to predicting whether or not the couple would stay together.
With all this considered, it's important to remember that everyone is different. However, the trends exist for a reason - so do try to avoid these factors if possible.