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Its all in the Numbers

NumbersI knew it! It wasn’t my fault! It was all pre-determined in the numbers! Science can predict my future!

Actually, sarcasm aside, while doing the previous post about how many broken families there are [click here], I came across some seriously interesting numbers. I have no idea if this is true of valid or anything, but let me repeat some of what I noticed:

If one parent wants a child much more strongly than the spouse does, the marriage is more than twice as likely to end in divorce as the marriages of couples who agree on how much they do or don’t want a child. “One of the patterns we consistently see is that women tend to be more discontented in relationships than men are,” says Stephanie Coontz, Director of Research and Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families, “and women are the ones who tend to initiate separations and divorces.”

Rebecca Kippen et al. (2009): What’s love got to do with it? Homogamy and dyadic approaches to understanding marital instability. [click here] Paper delivered at the Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics Survey Research Conference.

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you are 22.7 percent more likely to divorce before that child turns eight years old than parents of a child without ADHD. “ADHD is a very challenging diagnosis,” says The Complete Divorce Handbook author Brette Sember, “and raising a child with this disorder is expensive, stressful, and emotionally consuming. It’s definitely going to put a huge stress on a marriage.”

Brian Wymbs and Pelham, William (2008). Rate and predictors of divorce among parents of youth with ADHD. [click here] Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76 (5), 735-744.

If you didn’t smile for photographs early in life, your marriage is five times more likely to end in divorce than if you smiled intensely in early photographs. So says two tests involving college yearbook photos and the second involving miscellaneous photos taken during participants’ youths. “People who are optimistic – and that’s what smiles tend to show in childhood -find it easier to get along with people,” including the people they’re married to, asserts Coontz, who is also the author of Marriage: A History. Optimistic types “also find it easier to put up with periods in life that might be difficult.”

Hertenstein, Matthew et al. (2009): Smile intensity in photographs predicts divorce later in life

There were many other interesting numbers and quotes, but for me the following phrase by Coontz was very valuable: “Unfortunately, women tend to let their anger and disappointment build up for too long before expressing it. They hint at what’s bothering them rather than being direct. By the time they’re mad enough to separate, something has died.” Too true. Coontz suggests that it “tells women to be very direct about what they want and need to change, and tells men to listen to them.“. Amen.

Matthew Bramlett and Mosher, William (2000): First marriage dissolution, divorce, and remarriage: United States, Department of Health and Human Services/National Center for Health Statistics, [click here] Advance Data, 23, 7-8.

So there you have it.


4 Responses to “Its all in the Numbers”

  1. name not published Says:

    thnx bro

  2. Peter Says:

    I never smiled leon on any pic but i just celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary 😉

  3. leonuys Says:

    Awesome! Congratulations and here’s wishing the next 25 will be even better. Leon and Robby

  4. name not published Says:

    Leon: Don’t throw stones when you live in a glass house, dearie.


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