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The relationship between divorce and attractiveness of couples

An article in "Psychology Today" reported that couples who have different levels of attractiveness tend to have less successful relationships than couples who are roughly equal in their physical attractiveness. This means that if one person in an Illinois couple is significantly more attractive than the other, that couple may be at greater risk for divorce.

According to one look at online dating practices, both women and men seek relationships with more attractive individuals. However, people usually settle into relationships with people who are of equal attractiveness. When they do not, one study found that the jealousy of the less attractive partner may cause problems in the relationship. Another found that when women are significantly more attractive than their partner, they are not as committed to the relationship, and they flirt more.

In one study, undergraduates rated couples on how attractive they were, and researchers then interviewed the husbands. They found that husbands with more attractive wives were happier and helped their wives more than other husbands. Another study found that a long friendship prior to embarking on a relationship tended to make the attractiveness of either person a less significant factor.

Whether it is conflict caused by physical differences or some other issue that leads to divorce, couples must divide shared property and decide where their children will live. These agreements can be reached through negotiating or by going to litigation. Most couples prefer to try negotiation since it usually costs less, is less stressful and leaves them more in control of the outcome. In contrast to the adversarial approach of litigation, mediation may help even high-conflict couples reach an agreement that suits them both. However, if one person will not cooperate, one suspects the other of hiding assets, or there are concerns about a child's safety, litigation may be necessary.

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