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A younger,smarter wife ‘secret to a happy marriage’

Find a smart woman at least five years younger who has not been hitched before,says a new study.

Written by Agencies | London |
October 26, 2009 1:56:57 pm

Guess what’s the secret to a happy marriage? Find a smart woman at least five years younger who has not been hitched before,says a new study.

Researchers at Bath University have found that couples with the best chance of a happy marriage are those in which a woman with a superior education marries a man who is five or more years older than herself.

In their study,the researchers analysed interviews with 1,534 Swiss couples who were either married or in a very serious relationship. Five years later they followed up 1,074 of the couples to see which had separated.

From this analysis,the researchers were able to tease out the factors that create a dream marriage — and those that doom a romance to failure.

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With age,they found that if the wife is five or more years older than her husband,they are more than three times as likely to divorce than if they were the same age. Couples in which the husband is the elder by at least five years are least likely to part.

A good education boosts a couple’s chances of staying together,and the future is particularly bright if the wife has the most studying under her belt. Analysis of the data also showed the most stable couples were those who have never divorced,the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

However couples in which one member has been through a break-up in the past are less stable than those in which both members have a history of divorce.

Lead researcher Dr Emmanuel Fragniere said: “It appears men and women ‘choose’ their mates on the basis of love,physical attraction,similarity of taste,beliefs and attitudes,and shared values.

“However,the longevity of marriages also depends on objective factors. Matching individuals according to a small number of objective criteria such as age,education and cultural origin may help reduce divorce.”

The findings have been published in the ‘European Journal of Operational Research’.

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