Marriage shaky? Take this quiz.
Answer yes or no.
1) Does only one of you smoke cigarettes?
2) Is he two years younger than you?
3) Was he younger than 25 when you got together?
4) Does or did only one of you want to have children?
5) Are your finances unstable?
6) Is he nine years older than you are?
7) Have either one of you been married two or three times before?
8) Have either of your parents been separated or divorced?
9) Are you both spiritual?
If you answered yes to 8 out of 9 of the questions and you're still married ... great job!! According to a recent study, you are living the dream. A yes to four or more may indicate marital counseling in the future or maybe just separate bedrooms.
Australian researchers recently presented a paper titled "What's Love Got to Do with It?" They followed almost 2,500 couples who were both married or living together, and compared those who stayed together versus split. Their conclusion was that living happily ever after requires more than just love. Okay, tell me something that I didn't know. Surprisingly, religion, education, and alcohol consumption had no impact on the relationships.
On the one hand, more women need to be aware of the backstory to romance. Instead of just looking at bank accounts, car make and model, or shoe size (a complete myth), it may be helpful to factor in other variables. This is not slamming women today who are educated, making money, and capable of providing for themselves. We are still social beings who need and value loving relationships.
So what gives in finding and keeping that special someone? Issues like age difference, smoking habits, parents' relationship, and the desire to either have kids or a joint decision not to have children all influence a marriage by creating potential conflicts.
For example, partners on their second or third marriage are 90 percent more likely to separate than those on their first marriage. I guess some things don't get better with time. If your husband is nine or more years older than you, you are twice as likely to get divorced; the same stat goes for men who get married before the age of 25. They didn't mention how a woman's age affects the marriage.
Who knew?? I met my husband when he was 28 (okay) ... he is six years older than I am (not sure where or how that fits), both of our parents are still together (amazingly) ... but our marriage is still a work in progress. Maybe I should have taken the quiz years ago.
|Dr. Janet Taylor is a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Columbia University at Harlem Hospital, and is a consumer health strategist and certified life coach. Her company, Mind Projects, Inc., specializes in corporate stress management and consumer health strategies. She practices in Chelsea and lives with her husband and four daughters in New York.|