Love may be blind, but crow’s feet may lead you all the way to divorce court.
There are many early indications of what might cause a marriage to crumble before a couple walks down the aisle — and the age gap between partners is one of them. And according to data in a recent study of 3,000 people by Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon, professors in the Department of Economics at Emory University in Atlanta, it could be a considerable factor. Randal Olson, a fourth-year computer science graduate research assistant at Michigan State University, crunched the raw data from Emory and found that a larger age gap is related to a higher divorce rate.
A five-year age gap statistically means you’re 18% more likely to divorce (versus just 3% with a 1-year age difference), and that rate rises to 39% for a 10-year age difference and 95% for a 20-year age gap. Partners from different generations may have different cultural reference points and values, and polar opposite tastes in music and film, and even friends, and also have different approaches to their sex life, says Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills psychotherapist and panelist on “Sex Box,” a forthcoming We TV relationship therapy show. “Sex drive goes up for women in middle age, but sexual function decreases for men.”