Scientists have suggested numerous reasons for why marriages last or fail.
From whether you smiled in childhood photographs to your job title, an author has trawled decades of scientific research to identify the factors said to predict a marriage’s success. While diamond wedding anniversary celebrants might cite trust, loyalty and retaining a romantic spark as the secrets to matrimonial bliss, scientists have claimed the formula is far more complicated.
Anneli Rufus, a journalist and author, has now delved into the archive of studies dedicated to the subject to compile a list of 15 warning signs that someone is heading for a divorce.
The reasons range from the gender of a couple’s children to your partner’s race, testosterone levels and health.
One recent study suggests that people who smile in photographs when they are young are less likely to get divorced than those who frowned in childhood snaps.
The research, published in the journal Motivation and Emotion, found that only 10 per cent of people questioned who smiled in early photos had gone through a divorce in later life compared to 31 per cent of those who wore straight faces.
Another study claims that dancers and choreographers face a 43 per cent chance of getting divorced compared to 19 per cent among mathematicians.
Psychologists at Radford University came to the conclusions after devising a formula for calculating the probabilities of marital success based on a spouse’s career.
The chances are 38 per cent for massage therapists and only 8 per cent for dentists, the Journal of Polce and Criminal Psychology reported.
Commenting on the wealth of explanations put forward by scientists, married Mrs Rufus said: “These are just numbers but they’re interesting because they start conversations.
“They help you think about the bigger picture and what in general are factors which even have to do with relationships breaking up.”
15 signs that you’ll get divorced:
1. If you’re a woman who got married before the age of eighteen, your marriage faces a 48 per cent likelihood of divorce within ten years.
2. If you’re a woman who wants a child much more strongly than your spouse does, your marriage is more than twice as likely to end in divorce as the marriages of couples who agree on how much they do or don’t want a child.
3. If you have two sons, you face a 36.9 per cent likelihood of divorce, but if you have two daughters, the likelihood rises to 43.1 per cent.
4. If you’re a man with high basal testosterone, you’re 43 per cent more likely to get divorced than men with low testosterone levels.
5. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you are 22.7 per cent more likely to divorce before that child turns eight years old than parents of a child without ADHD.
6. If you are currently married but have cohabited with a lover other than your current spouse, you are slightly more than twice as likely to divorce than someone who has never cohabited.
7. If you didn’t smile for photographs early in life, your marriage is more likely to end in divorce than if you smiled intensely in early photographs.
8. If your child has died after the twentieth week of pregnancy, during labour, or soon after labour, you are 40 per cent more likely to divorce than if you had not lost a child.
9. If you’re a woman who has recently been diagnosed with cancer or multiple sclerosis, your marriage is six times more likely to end in divorce than if your husband had been diagnosed with those diseases instead.
10. If you’re a Caucasian woman and you’re separated from your spouse, there’s a 98 per cent chance that you’ll be divorced within six years of that separation. If you’re a Hispanic woman, the likelihood is 80 perc ent. If you’re an African-American woman, the likelihood is 72 per cent.
11. If you’re a dancer or choreographer, you face a 43.05 per cent likelihood of divorce, compared with mathematicians, who face a 19.15 per cent likelihood, and animal trainers, who face a 22.5 per cent likelihood.
12. If you’re a farmer, you face only a 7.63 per cent likelihood of divorce, joined by other low-risk occupations such as nuclear engineers, who face a 7.29 per cent likelihood, and optometrists, who face a mere 4.01 per cent likelihood.
13. If either you or your spouse have suffered a brain injury, your marriage faces a 17 per cent chance of ending in divorce.
14. If you’re an African-American woman, your first marriage has a 47 per cent likelihood of ending in divorce within ten years; for Hispanic women, the likelihood is 34 per cent; for Caucasian women, it’s 32 per cent; for Asian women, it’s 20 per cent.
15. If you’re a woman serving actively in the military, your marriage is 250 per cent more likely to end in divorce than that of a man serving actively in the military.