Depending on which “study” you believe, the secret may be to make a lot of money, have more sons than daughters, and NOT live in Oklahoma – which has the highest divorce rate in North America! Not exactly advice that applies to everyone, right? So with help from the Wall Street Journal, which analyzed hundreds of studies, here are four truisms that work for ALL long lasting marriages.

  • The first sign your marriage will last: You take life’s big steps in the right order. Of the 57% of couples who DON’T get divorced in North America, most took the time to graduate from college before they got married. Then they waited until after the wedding to start having kids. However, the divorce rate climbs any time couples reach these milestones out of order.
  • Another sign your marriage will last: You’re both treated fairly on the job. Studies show that people who are overworked and underpaid often bring their job stress home with them. That stacks the deck against their marriage, because they argue more over things that have NOTHING to do with their relationship. So even if your job is to be a stay-at-home Mom, make sure there’s no resentment about it from either of you.
  • The 3rd sign a lasting marriage: You tie the knot before you sign a lease. Statistics show that couples who wait until after their vows to move in together last longer than couples who rush to cohabitate. Why? Researchers believe that people who live together before marriage place less value on lifelong monogamy.
  • A final sign your marriage will last: You share the wealth evenly. Stephanie Coontz, wrote the book Marriage: A History, and her research shows that couples who both have a job, yet share housework and child care evenly, have the lowest risk of divorce. It’s important that both partners are happy with that arrangement because working people will walk away from a marriage faster if they’re unhappy – since they believe they can leave and support themselves.