The Telegraph reports this morning that what is in fact the longest relationship study ever conducted comes to what some might feel is a controversial conclusion – those in second marriages are far more likely to stand the test of time.
Professor George Vaillant, who ran The Grant Study for over 45 years, (as part of a project which spanned more than seventy and which tracked the lives of over 240 men), found evidence to suggest that marriage improves with age, especially after 70, that many people trapped in unhappy marriages during middle age were successfully able to turn their marriages around, and that many of those who divorced went on to form happy marriages that lasted several decades.
The study even suggests that it’s not necessarily the second marriage which leads to marital longevity. It can even be the fourth or fifth…..
The study also found that men who had a warm relationship with their father were more likely to make good husbands.
Interestingly, those from what we call broken homes or who had experienced traumatic childhoods were no less likely to sustain a stable and happy marriage than those from stable homes.
After weighing up all of the data, Professor Vailant comes to the conclusion that many of those who divorced had ended up happier than those who stayed in troubled unions.
What is the study really saying then? We think it’s quite obvious -it’s all about timing and relationships, like everything in life.
The article is worth a read. It offers interesting stats from the study and more.