90 percent of your dating issues solved
Now, thanks to longitudinal studies of thousands of couples and emerging research on previously understudied partnerships, one answer is becoming more apparent: Why some couples stick together isn't so much a coin toss as a science.
"Today, we have a pretty good idea of what's likely to make for a good marriage," says Stony Brook University researcher Arthur Aron, Ph D.
"There's a lot of stress if you're [part of] a military family, but at the same time, there are lots of things that the military is doing to try to protect you from that stress, to try to make it better," says Karney.
That includes providing health care, child care and allowances for housing and children.
By looking at how the Early Years of Marriage Project participants rated their marital happiness over time, she and her colleagues found couples tended to fit into two groups: those whose happiness started high and stayed that way, and those whose contentment started medium or low and got worse (, 2012).
Still, many happy honeymooners go on to divorce years later.
According to the latest national data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the likelihood that a couple will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary today isn't much greater than a coin toss: 52 percent for women and 56 percent for men.
"[Low-income couples] don't say, ‘If only we had more skills training and better communication,'" says Karney.In addition, a person whose first child is born after the wedding is more likely to stay married than one who enters a marriage already a parent. A 2009 report from the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project, for example, showed that couples with no assets are 70 percent more likely to divorce within three years than couples with ,000 in assets.That comes as no surprise to Terri Orbuch, Ph D, of the University of Michigan and Oakland University, who says arguments over money — how to spend, save and split it — plague even well-off couples. Other predictors of divorce are more contextual than personal."It appears that those things are paying off." Another predictor of divorce seems to be how a couple fares — and feels — even before they tie the knot.One 2012 study of 232 newlyweds by researchers at UCLA, including Karney and led by doctoral student Justin Lavner, found that women who had reported premarital "cold feet" were more than two times as likely to be divorced four years later than couples in which the woman hadn't experienced doubts.