Divorce risk linked to disparity in attractiveness

If one person in a Florida couple is significantly more attractive than the other, that couple might be more likely to get a divorce compared to those who are more evenly matched in attractiveness. An article in Psychology Today reports that studies show this disparity can put a strain on a relationship.

Research varies regarding the nature of that strain. One study found that women who were more attractive than their husbands might have a tendency to be less committed to the relationship and to flirt with others. However, another study found that it was the jealousy of the less-attractive partner that tended to cause the problems in a mismatched relationship. In a different study, men who were married to more attractive women were happier and more helpful to their wives than other husbands.

In one analysis of online dating, both women and men showed a tendency to pursue more attractive partners. However, overall, people tend to be in relationships with people who are of a similar level of attractiveness. One study did find that if the couple starts from the basis of a long friendship, the physical attributes of either person are less important in the relationship.

If a marriage does end in divorce, the couple may need to come to an agreement on property division and child custody, or they might have to go to court. Usually, couples first make an effort to reach an agreement outside of court. This leaves them more in control of the final outcome, and it can also be quicker and less costly. Even high-conflict couples may benefit from mediation. Mediation focuses on helping couples reach a solution that suits them both. In this way, it is the opposite of the adversarial process of litigation. Some couples may agree on some parts of the divorce settlement but might need a judge to decide others.

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