Your marriage or your life? That’s the odd choice suggested by a new studyout of Canada’s Queen’s University, which suggests that people with lower life expectancies are less likely to wind up in divorce court.
“The actual life expectancy of a province or a health region can predict when men and women get married and the rates of men and women divorcing,” commented Daniel Krupp, author of the study.
So what’s behind this rather morbid correlation? Krupp has some ideas.
First, he suggests that lower life expectancy helps couples stick together – either because they don’t figure they’ll have ample time to enjoy life after divorce, or because they subconsciously or consciously perceive themselves as more satisfied with their current arrangement. “It’s very possible that our view of the relationship itself changes when life expectancy shortens — that people are less dissatisfied with the same relationship than they would be if their life expectancy was longer,” noted Krupp. “One possibility is that people who are in a relationship that’s not optimal — it’s not a bad relationship, but it’s not ideal for them for whatever reason — say to themselves, ‘I’m not happy with this, but I don’t really have an opportunity to do anything better than this.'”
Krupp noted, however, that the study didn’t look at individual motivation and decision-making. That’s likely where the next phase of research will head. Divorce Magazine will publish updates as they are released.