The Top 7 Things That Keep Couples Together, And The Pitfalls That Tear Them Apart

| OCT 15, 2014 | 6:21 PM
bride and groom

Image credit: Merchant Circle

Researchers at Emory University have tackled the often challenging, ever-changing nature of marriages to find out what makes a marriage tick, as well as some indicators of successful marriages.

The research paper, aptly titled “'A Diamond is Forever' and Other Fairy Tales,” examines facets of relationships including the size and cost of the wedding, and how long a couple dated before tying the knot.

It surveyed 3,000 Americans who have ever been married. And the correlations between successful and unsuccessful marriages came back loud and clear, PolicyMic reports. Charts created by data scientist Randal S. Olson help us visualize some of the pitfalls to avoid and the benchmarks to maintain a healthy marriage.

Research suggests that these 7 findings could help lead any couple down the path towards wedded bliss.

#1 - Don't marry for wealth or looks.

Couples were 18% more likely to divorce if they married for money, and 40% more likely if they married for looks. Good looks can fade, and that wealth can be gone in a heartbeat!

wealth and good looks

#2 - The longer you date you significant other before getting married, the better your chances of staying together.

Think more “long-term relationship,” less “spontaneous Las Vegas Elvis-officiated wedding.”

dating length

So if you're about to do this, maybe consider taking a step back.


#3 - When you do eventually walk down the aisle, invite a lot of people.

Couples who had over 200 people attend their wedding are 92% less likely to get a divorce. Alternately, those who only hosted 1-10 people are only 35% less likely to split.

attending wedding

#4 - At the same time (and this is a fine line to walk), don't spend too much money on your wedding.

The more money you shell out, the higher your chance of divorce.

cost of wedding

See: Kim Kardashian and her 72-day marriage and multi-million dollar wedding to Kris Humphries.


#5 - Once married, stay on top of your finances.

The very poor are much more likely to part ways with their spouses. Those in the comfortable $50K-$125K range are 39-42% less likely to end their marriages.

househole income

#6 - Go to church on a regular basis.

Those who regularly attend a house of worship are 46% less likely to end their marriages - so those who never attend church are about 2 times more likely to divorce! However, if a couple only attends occasionally, they are actually 10% more likely to divorce. So don't just do the once-a-year deal - make it a habit.

marriage-stability-religious (2)

#7 - Go ahead and take that honeymoon - you two need some alone time!

Those who take one are 41% less likely to split.


So say “See ya!” to your guests and take off on an adventure!


Of course, these tips are not guarantees for a successful marriage - but if these tactics have worked for other people, they might be worth trying!

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