Different feelings of tension contribute to divorce

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-04 05:45:59|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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CHICAGO, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Increased marital tension among wives is more likely to lead to divorce, as women are twice as likely as men to file for divorce, a study of the University of Michigan (UM) shows.

The study followed 355 couples over a course of 16 years, and used data from the Early Years of Marriage Project that began in 1986. Of the 355 couples followed, about half were white and half were black. The couples were interviewed between the first four and nine months of their marriage, and again in years 2, 3, 4, 7 and 16 of the project.

Researchers asked the husbands and wives about their irritation or resentment over the previous month and how frequently they felt tense from fighting, arguing or disagreeing with their spouses.

Women across the study reported higher levels of tension when they entered the marriage. Husbands reported low levels of tension, but their tension increased more over the course of the marriage.

"It could be that wives have more realistic expectations of marriage, while husbands had more idealistic expectations of wives," said Kira Birditt of the UM Institute for Social Research.

About 40 percent of the 355 couples divorced during the study's 16-year-period, matching the national average of the time period.

"These findings are exciting because it's important to consider both people in the relationship," Birditt said. "People in the same relationships have different ideas about the quality of their tie."

The study has been newly published in the journal Developmental Psychology.