Six science-backed signs that your marriage is heading for divorce

Should you have seen the warning signs (Picture Getty)
Should you have seen the warning signs (Picture Getty)

It’s often easy to see the reasons why a marriage didn’t work out with hindsight – but is it possible to spot the warning signs in advance?

Yes, according to several scientific studies – which highlight statistical pointers and other little signs, which mean a couple are more likely to split up.

Last year saw the highest rise in divorce rates in England and Wales for more than two decades, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Studies often highlight simple things, like how couples speak to one another – or their family’s marital history – as a pointer to whether things might go wrong further down the line.

Here’s five science-backed signs that you might be heading for trouble in your relationship.

You were over 32 when you got married

Researchers at the University of Utah found that people who marry over the age of 32 – or while still in their teens are at higher risk of divorce, IFLScience reported.

Nicholas Wolfinger of the University of Utah said, ‘For almost everyone, the late twenties seems to be the best time to tie the knot.’

The husband doesn’t work full time

Having a husband without a full-time job significantly raises the risk of divorce, according to a 2016 Harvard study.

Couples where the husband didn’t have a full time job had a 3.3% chance of divorcing during the year under study, compared to 2.5% where the husband worked full time.

Your partner’s parents are divorced

People whose parents are divorced are more likely to get divorced themselves – and oddly, it’s thought to be due to genetics.

Researchers in a 2017 study analysed Swedish population registries, and found that children of divorced parents were more likely to be divorced, even if they had been adopted.

In other words, they did not ‘follow the pattern’ of their adoptive parents – but instead of their genetic parents, the researchers say.

Kenneth S. Kendler of Virginia Commonwealth University says, ‘I see this as a quite significant finding. Nearly all the prior literature emphasized that divorce was transmitted across generations psychologically. Our results contradict that, suggesting that genetic factors are more important.’

Your partner’s voice often sounds strained

Researchers at the University of Utah believe that there are clues hidden in people’s tone of voice – and that listening to people’s tone is more important than WHAT people say.

The researchers built an algorithm which can predict whether couples will stay together with 80% accuracy – better than human relationship counsellors.

Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the University of Utah recorded hundreds of conversations from over 100 couples over the course of two years.

The computer programme analysed couple’s tone of voice using pitch, intensity and ‘jitter’ – which can indicate emotional strain.

They found that analysing people’s impact on each other could predict whether they would split up – more accurately than human relationship experts.

Your partner rarely says, ‘Thank you’

The key to whether relationships last over the long haul might be the frequency with which your other half says two little words.

Not ‘I love you’, but, ‘Thank you.’

Researchers at the University of Georgia interviewed 468 married people – and found that gratitude was a key ingredient in making marriages work.

‘We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last,’ said professor Ted Futris.

Your partner seems to ignore what you have to say

Mathematician Hannah Fry observed hundreds of couples, monitoring everything from facial expressions to blcouples react negatively to each other all the time – for instance by dismissing or ignoring what the other says, the entire relationship can be poisoned.

Fry says such negative relationships hit a ‘tipping point’. She says, ‘In relationships where both partners consider themselves as happy, bad behaviour is dismissed as unusual.

‘In negative relationships, however, the situation is reversed. Bad behaviour is considered the norm.

‘A husband, for instance, might think his wife’s grumpiness is ‘typical’, due to her ‘selfishness’ or other negative personality trait.’ood pressure, believes a simple formula dictates whether couples are ‘high risk’.

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