Happiness v. Resignation

This article (from Jezebel), suggesting that

for a lasting marriage, women should pick men who are at least five years older, and have less education

for some reason makes me wonder why marital bliss is always measured by duration.  Is it naive to imagine that two different metrics might be in order?

Jezebel — my new guilty pleasure — takes the piece to task, complaining that the study

makes marriage sound like a matter of bolts and widgets. And this is essentially how the research — or at least the coverage thereof — treats it.

After interviewing 1,000 couples whose relationships had lasted five years or more, the researchers found that while the man being at least five years older reduced the chances of divorce, when the woman had five years on her partner, divorce was more than three times as likely.

Couples were also more likely to split if they’d been divorced before, but, interestingly, the effect was less if both couples had a divorce behind them.

I absolutely tend to treat relationships like science, just bc it’s interesting to see people act more or less like themselves — or more or less anything — around a given partner.

Besides, I’d love to see some nod to modern relationships.  What does “divorce” even mean anymore, when we’re talking about its effect on future marriage statistics?  Would divorce after a two-year marriage have a greater statistical effect on future numbers than would a ten-year common law situation that finally splits?  Is it living together that makes the difference, or is it making and then retracting a vow?  Or is it just the intimacy that comes from sharing a number of formative years?

In other words: what is it about divorce that’s so statistically — and, evidently,  personally — poisonous?


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