Compatibility of values and goals reduces conflict, which may cut down the urge to part, says David Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire.
But there’s something more compelling than compatibility that has kept couples together throughout history and just might offer a kind of staying power to modern-day marriages.
Picture the husband felling trees and moving rocks while the wife sows and weeds. This is the economics of a bonding. Interdependence is a prescription for a successful relationship, according to Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love.
If interdependence worked to keep things friendly on the farm, perhaps collaboration keeps couples together in modern society – collaboration other than children, that is. Studies have shown that couples who have one or two children are no likelier to soothe the seven-year itch than those with no children.
We’re talking about raising plants in a greenhouse together, working as a team to campaign for your favorite candidate or playing the piano while your spouse sings. More than sharing common interests, you share a common goal.
A little lovin’ doesn’t hurt
Of course, romance is another invaluable component to a successful relationship. Why not live like it’s your first year together? For guys, that means gifts, winning her love. Remember how hard you used to work for her attentions? For women this means stroking his ego, listening with interest and responding to his loving gestures. In short, stop taking each other for granted and break the stagnant pattern.
The later the marriage, the less scratchy the itch
The peak age range for divorce and remarriage is from the late 20s to the early 30s. Couples who hook up in their 40s and 50s are more likely to stay together than their younger counterparts, says Fisher.
Today’s baby boomers, she writes, “seem to be entering this final state, searching for a soul mate. Most will marry or remarry and remain together. It’s in their genes.”
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