Because Anything is Cheaper than Divorce

Don’t get divorced. It’s an expensive, stressful process that makes an enemy out of the person you once chose above all others in front of your friends and family, people who, by the way, each spent $60-$300 on a wedding gift  — and, most likely, much more on clothes, babysitters, travel, and lodging — to celebrate your deathless love.

OK I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be insensitive or flip. Nobody wants to get divorced; it is, usually, the best of several terrible options. Thankfully, Science, via The Week, is here to offer some new and even kind of easy/fun tips on how to Make Marriage Last. 

What do researchers find when they compare at 50 arranged marriages and 50 “love” marriages? Love marriages start out happier — but that declines quickly. Arranged marriages start out less happy, but after 10 years, they’re happier than love marriages. And stay that way. … What’s the secret behind the long term success of arranged marriages? They have to work at it. They don’t passively rely on “magic” and intense emotion. They have to spend a lot of time thinking about how to make it work.

The tips include such startlingly simple ideas as “Don’t fix the bad. Increase the good” and “Forget romance. Think excitement.” The former because you can’t change a person no matter how you try; people come As Is, like the Ani DiFranco song. And the latter because “Excitement from any source will be associated with the person you’re with, even if they’re not the cause of it.” This isn’t Eat Your Vegetables advice. This is Ride Your Roller Coasters! Something we can all get behind. Next week’s Do 1 Thing: Ride a roller coaster.

Related: Apparently Sen. Alan Simpson can also be helpful?

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