Since I’ve never been married per se, the instistution that it represents has always both confounded me and fascinated me. Why? Perhaps it’s because I come from a very fractured family–divorced parents; divorced grandparents, aunts and uncles…cousins too. Hell, we could never even keeps dogs in our yard. They always ran away.
And these days, I have many friends who are divorcing; contemplating divorce or are absolutely miserable in their marriages…some with significant mileage. One troubled marriage I know represents 28-years worth of life together as husband and wife with grown kids, a grandchild, a dog and a picket fence that somehow over the years, became more like prison bars.
How does that happen? Where does the love go? What happened to the vows of matrimoney and when and did they become so expendable? How did it get so easy to throw a marriage into the scrap heap of love?
While I think I would someday really like to know all about the white lace, the bouquets and promises, I’ll admit once again, that the concept of marriage and forever scares me. I spend a lot of time trying to understand the dynamic of marriage–coupledom, too for that matter– so I read a lot.
This morning, I stumbled upon an article from Lemondrop.com. Acccording to these guys, the key to a happy marriage is for the man to be at least five years older than his wife and she should be better educated.
I was always of the mindset that if you were on par, intellectually and from an educational standpoint, but this article begs to differ.
Please read the article italicized below and tell me what you think. I’d be very interested in reading your throughts; your input.
The practice of “marrying up” might be looked down upon by some, but when you’re talking age, it might be the key to a happy marriage. A recent study showed that the couples who were happiest and had the lowest divorce rate were those where the woman was at least five years younger than her husband — and when she’s better educated.
But it doesn’t work both ways. The same study claims that when the wife is older by five or more years, the couple is three times more likely to break up than if they’re the same age. (We’re looking at you, Demi.)
Does this mean that men with younger wives are destined to be happy? Perhaps. Another factor might be that we’re getting better at staying together; at least that’s what a different poll conducted by The Times of London stated: 54 percent o f those polled hadn’t even considered having an affair.
What’s the key to remaining faithful? Pretty obvious: a decent amount of sex. Of the respondents, 44 percent said they had sex at least once a week and 32 percent are having it two to four times a month. Two percent of the couples, who are obviously a little more limber, are having sex every day.
But that doesn’t mean everyone is remaining faithful. Compare the U.K. research with a 1991 survey from this side of the pond conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The study found 22 percent of married men confessed to being unfaithful, while only 10 percent of married women admitted the same. In 2006, the same survey by the NORC found that 16.7 percent of women admitted to infidelity — a dramatic increase.
What makes a person cheat on their partner? It’s a deeply personal issue, but according to Dr. Lauren Rosewarne, quoted in The Times, “People cheat to feel younger, different or challenged.”
Maybe, for those couples facing an age gap — and possibly an intelligence one, too — those extra years are enough to make the difference.
I’ve dated a younger man twice in my life. Mercifully, neither relationship worked. One was two years younger; the other was 14 years younger. I had more in common with the older younger guy, but he had the integrity of slug pubes. The younger younger man was cute, built very well and worked as a tennis pro. We didn’t have much in common, other than all things carnal. He wasn’t much of a conversationalist, but had this uncanny ability to know which wines went with Xanax.