A new study making the rounds on the Internet reveals that people report less satisfaction with their marriages whenever they’ve had a large number of sexual partners before saying, “I do.” While it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that one will file for divorce against their partner, it is concerning.
The National Marriage Project conducted the study, which it based off research from two University of Denver professors, Galena K. Rhoades and Scott M. Stanley, who looked at relationship data collected from 2007 to 2008 of 1,000 unmarried Americans ages 18 to 34, Huffington Post reports. During the following five years, 418 of the participants got married.
More from HuffPo:
Rhoades and Stanley took a closer look at those marriages to see if factors, including participants’ sexual past, played a role in current marital quality.
Couples’ relationship quality was measured using a four-item version of the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, focusing on relationship happiness, thoughts about separation, frequency of confiding in one another, and a general item about how well things are going (the full scale, however, contains 32 items).
According to researchers, the 23 percent of participants who only had sex with their spouse prior to getting hitched reported higher quality marriages versus those who had other past sexual partners as well.
They claim this finding is especially true for women, writing in the report, “We further found that the more sexual partners a woman had had before marriage, the less happy she reported her marriage to be.”
The full report is well worth a look — you can find it here — but we’d like to pause and offer some tips for how you can avoid this conundrum if you fall in the study’s finding criteria.
Tip One: Restore The Romance.
If you want to avoid divorce papers, or at the very least a stagnant marriage, then you’ll want to find more time to do romantic things. It doesn’t have to be just about the bedroom. It could be spending more time together and less time herding the kids. (Be sure to invest in a good babysitter, though.) It could also be exploring something together that is new to the both of you. Keep each other off guard, and you’ll be surprised at the chemistry you find.
Tip Two: Don’t Sweat The Statistics.
Statistics show a tendency. They’re rarely ever definitive. You can step out of the doldrums regardless of your sexual past. You just have to adopt a can-do attitude rather than the Fatalist approach, and as an extension of tip one, that will mean more time in the bedroom reigniting the flame.
Tip Three: Seek Professional Help.
If you’re wholeheartedly against filing divorce forms, then make sure you’re doing something proactive to diagnose your problems and do something about them. That means seeking help from a professional trained in marriage counseling.