The effect of age difference and other factors on marriage

0db2598I was recently interviewed by a WSJ reporter for a piece he was writing for “MarketWatch“. It was to discuss a recent report analyzing certain factors and how they affect marriage, or more importantly, how they may increase the chance a couple will #divorce. The study and his story were interesting to me. The three factors that really rang true to me were: age difference; length of the marriage, and whether they had children. Although when he asked me if I agreed with the study that having children makes a couple less likely to divorce, my reply, based on my anecdotal experience, was simply that often having children simply delays the problem(s) and that sometimes it actually brings added stress to an already difficult situation. Children need us. They need our time, our resources and our attention, which means that our spouse gets less of each of these once children are brought into a marriage. They are very worth it and I dare not suggest children are not worth the compromise or the effort, but I do not think that having children always keeps couples together. And generally it is a good thing for children to be raised in an intact relationship, but many psychologists and others tell us that a bad relationship in an intact family can sometimes be worse than a good relationship between separated parents. But I do agree with him that the longer a relationship lasts, the longer it is likely to endure. Once you learn how to live with each other, through difficulties, there is less reason to divorce. I hope that most people still see divorce as a very last option and if they do, sticking it out should lead to more “sticking it out”. After all, only when you cannot bear to live together anymore should there be a #divorce, and if you can bear it, most people will try and make it work. @GADivorce