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Study indicates that, when it comes to making a marriage last, age matters

When dating and looking for a potential future husband or wife, many people admit to having some sort of checklist of must-meet requirements. For example, an individual may prefer to date someone with specific physical attributes or of a certain financial status. Age is often another important factor when it comes to looking for a life partner.

Some say age is just a number. While in some respects this may be true, an individual's age often equates to life experiences and individuals of differing ages sometimes have difficulty relating to one another. The findings of a recent study indicate that age may also play an important role when it comes to making a marriage work.

In the study, which is entitled, A Diamond is Forever and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration," researchers aimed to determine those factors that are most influential in making a marriage last. Age and varying age gaps between spouses was one of the factors researchers examined.

After polling 3,000 individuals who were either recently married or divorced, researchers discovered that, at least when it comes to marriage, the ages of respective spouses may be much more than just a number.

In fact the study's findings indicate that a mere five-year age gap between spouses increases the likelihood that the couple will divorce by 18 percent. A ten-year age gap equates to a 39 percent increased likelihood that a couple will divorce and spouses who are 20 years apart in age are 95 percent more likely to divorce.

Obviously there are many happily married couples with wide age gaps who defy the findings of this study. It makes sense, however, that individuals of different ages may have more difficulty ultimately relating to one another. Much of how we see the world is shaped by our life experiences which tend to vary greatly depending on our generational reference points.

Source: The Atlantic, "For a Lasting Marriage, Try Marrying Someone Your Own Age," Megan Garber, Nov. 9, 2014

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