Have you ever attended a wedding and thought, “This will never last?” If so, your instincts may be picking up on subtle cues that a couple isn’t really compatible. Researchers say that there are several scientific ways to predict a divorce.
So, what are the biggest predictors of long-term marital instability?
1. Marrying too young or too late.
There’s no perfect age to find love, and happy marriages can occur at any stage of life. However, the odds that a couple will be unhappy together increase whenever a teenage couple marries or people get married in their mid-thirties or later.
Both facts make sense to social scientists. Teens aren’t done with brain development, so their feelings about another person may change over time. People over thirty may simply not want to compromise their lifestyles in order to make room for another person.
2. There’s a big age gap between the spouses.
What’s wrong with a May-December romance? Nothing at all, but the reality is that couples who have a five-year age gap are 18% more likely to divorce than couples who don’t. Increase the age gap to 10 years and you see a 39% increase in divorces.
This also makes a lot of sense because a significant age gap can put couples at odds over their goals and lifestyles.
3. The couple is head-over-heels in love.
This may sound counter-intuitive but it really does make sense. When a couple is swooning over each other at the point of marriage, it can be difficult for them to sustain that intensely romantic feeling. When that feeling fades, it can feel like a huge letdown and send one or both partners into an emotional tailspin.
Couples who have had more time to experience the normal ebbs and flows of romance and real life are more likely to weather the ordinary parts of marriage well together.
Naturally, these aren’t the only factors that could make a divorce likely in the future. If you find yourself considering divorce, take the time to find out more about your legal options.