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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Finally, the secret to a happy marriage


Those researchers have been at it again. Finally they claim to have discovered the secret to a happy marriage. And is it down to the man – being miserable.

How this works in civil partnerships, I don’t know but for your average married couple, they are less likely to divorce if the man of the house doesn’t enjoy himself too much.

You can add in your own jokes here about lives being made a misery and grumpy old men, but the study looked at tens of thousands of couples in Britain, Germany and Australia, and found it was also more likely to be a disgruntled wife who would start divorce proceedings.

It is apparently due to the happiness gap. The smaller the gap, when a couple share similar interests, household duties and levels of contentment, the happier the couple. Why this gap is smaller if the man is grumpier, I don’t know. Is it down to the woman being happier wearing the trousers? I have no comment.

We have researchers at Deakin University, in Australia, to thank for this latest study. But their report - You Can't Be Happier Than Your Wife. Happiness Gaps and Divorce – also showed that the happiness gap was 'several times wider' in couples who were living together compared with those who were married.
So it would seem that couples who are married are more likely to stay married than couples who are not. Genius.

In all seriousness though, in this day and age it is encouraging to find some research which demonstrates a benefit to being married. It can sometimes seem that with high divorce rates and legislation mooted (by the last Government) to bring greater rights to unmarried couples as those of married couples, here is something which shows that being married cements a bond between a couple more strongly.

I guess this now means that if the man is criticised by a long-suffering wife for being miserable, he can smile and claim he is doing it to ensure their marriage lasts.

Andrew Woolley
Divorce Solicitor

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