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Why some happy newlyweds still eventually divorce

We marry because we cannot see a future that does not involve the person we're marrying. And while some marriages are rocky from the beginning, for the majority of newlyweds at the beginning of marriage everything is rosy.

So why do some of these happy couples looking to spend a lifetime together end up wanting to divorce?

That was the purpose of a study conducted by Justin Lavner and Thomas Bradbury, researchers as UCLA. Lavner and Bradbury followed 136 married couples who reported being happy for the first four years of marriage and questioned their levels of stress, their commitment to the marriage, and their personalities and communication styles. Ten years later, they compared who divorced and who did not.

The results suggested that those who divorced were younger and that the husbands had lower incomes. In addition, the divorced group was more likely to have divorced parents.

The study did not find significant differences between the levels of stress for the two groups. Nor did either group express a different level of commitment at the beginning of the marriage.

One significant indicator was the way the two groups expressed negative emotions. Generally, those couples more likely to divorce were angrier in their communication styles and more likely to blame the other. The researchers indicated a belief that the group that divorced, while displaying some positive communication patterns, had patterns of rationalizing negative exchanges or avoiding negative exchanges that wore down the marriage.

Whatever the reasons for divorce, on occasion even couples who first experienced a happy marriage must move on with their lives separately for the benefit of both.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Why Do Happy Newlyweds Eventually Divorce?" Robert Hughes, Jr. Feb. 18, 2012

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