The practice of “marrying up” might be looked down upon by some, but when you’re talking age, it might be the key to a happy marriage. A recent study showed that the couples who were happiest and had the lowest divorce rate were those where the woman was at least five years younger than her husband — and when she’s better educated.
But it doesn’t work both ways. The same study claims that when the wife is older by five or more years, the couple is three times more likely to break up than if they’re the same age. (We’re looking at you, Demi.)
Does this mean that men with younger wives are destined to be happy? Perhaps. Another factor might be that we’re getting better at staying together; at least that’s what a different poll conducted by The Times of London stated: 54 percent of those polled hadn’t even considered having an affair.
What’s the key to remaining faithful? Pretty obvious: a decent amount of sex. Of the respondents, 44 percent said they had sex at least once a week and 32 percent are having it two to four times a month. Two percent of the couples, who are obviously a little more limber, are having sex every day.
But that doesn’t mean everyone is remaining faithful. Compare the U.K. research with a 1991 survey from this side of the pond conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The study found 22 percent of married men confessed to being unfaithful, while only 10 percent of married women admitted the same. In 2006, the same survey by the NORC found that 16.7 percent of women admitted to infidelity — a dramatic increase.
What makes a person cheat on their partner? It’s a deeply personal issue, but according to Dr. Lauren Rosewarne, quoted in The Times, “People cheat to feel younger, different or challenged.”
Maybe, for those couples facing an age gap — and possibly an intelligence one, too — those extra years are enough to make the difference.