Way back in 1986, the National Institutes of Health funded a study of 373 couples aged 25 to 37. Now, in 2012, the study has found 46 per cent of the couples had chosen to divorce. Interestingly however, a significant 71 per cent had found happiness with new partners and 44 per cent had gone on to re-marry. But what had they learned?
Looking back on divorce
Of those divorced couples, 15 per cent said they could have given their partner more affective affirmation or shows of affection. Additionally, the frequency that a spouse displayed love or made the other person feel good appeared to be significant factors. Making life interesting or exciting and giving a partner more encouragement to have their own ideas and ways of doing things, were also cited as important. Unsurprisingly, the findings showed that when a partner didn’t show their spouse love and affection the couple was twice as likely to get divorced.
In some cases, there were additional reasons why the marriage broke down. Some couples referred to having trouble letting go of anger or sadness and grief about the past, or holding on to jealousies over previous relationships.
Money and divorce
It has been cited before as a divisive topic, but again, the study’s findings showed that 49 per cent of divorcees in the study revealed money was the top area of conflict in the marriage. Interestingly, 6 out of 10 who began a new relationship stated that they had chosen not to combine finances.
Lifting communication barriers
Many of the couples cited that not talking to their partner or sharing things with each other proved to just store up future problems. However, the study also highlighted that 41 per cent of the couples said they would communicate differently in a new relationship having learned lessons from the past.