In California, there is a 60% divorce rate as of today according to Google. However, the rate of couples breaking up is higher than that. Couples sometimes file for legal separation, or even just separate without filing any documentation. We estimate that the break up rate in California is as high as 80%. So, how do we try and make sure that we are in the 20% success rate? During our course of practice, we have developed seven prongs that if met give your relationship a higher chance of success. These prongs were developed from looking at the hundreds of divorce cases that our firm has handled. The following are the prongs for a good relationship:
Religion/Culture: If you and your partner share the same or similar culture and/or religion or at least have an appreciation for each other’s religion or culture.
Finances: You and your partner must have similar mindsets on how you value finances and your spending habits. This does not have to be the exact same, but if you are very frugal and your partner likes to spend a lot of money, this may not be a good match. You need to find someone that is similar to you. If you buy clothes once a year, and your wife buys shoes once a month, you may still be a match as long as you comfortable with the spending habits. However, if you buy a car once every 15 years, and your partner needs a new car every year you are not a match because this is significantly different in how you spend money. The amount you and your partner spend on similar items cannot differ dramatically.
Fitness/health: If you are physically fit and you like to keep in shape, your partner has to have a similar mindset. You will not be happy if you are working hard to look and feel good, and your partner’s idea of exercise is opening a bag of chips and drinking a beer. The more health conscious person will have significantly different eating habits, which will affect how your money is spent at the grocery store.
Family: this is a two-pronged factor. The first is how close you are to your own family (i.e. mom, dad, brothers, sisters) and how much time you spend with them. If you are close knit family, and you spend lots of time together, your partner should want to do that with you and vice versa. The second factor is whether you want to have a family of your own (i.e. your own children). Do not think you will change your partner’s mind. If your partner says he/she does not want children and you do, you are not a match.
Personality match: This prong is one of the most important because this is the basis of any good relationship. You and your partner should have at least ONE activity that you share together. That activity can be anything. For example, my wife and I are huge NBA fans and we watch basketball together throughout the season. We both have a love for the game and a genuine interest in the sport. This allows us to build a closer relationship based on a common interest. When you feel like your partner shares something genuinely with you, it allows you to feel like supporting your partner’s other interests even if those interests do not include you. For example, we share basketball together, and separately she does yoga, while I play guitar and practice martial arts. What I have found is some of my wife’s other activities have been things I started to enjoy and appreciate as well. All relationships come down to a personality match.
Intimacy: This term “intimacy” is defined as cuddling on the couch, holding hands in public, public displays of affection, kissing, etc. If you are a touchy-feely person, then you want someone of similar mindset. This does change as you get older simply because your back starts hurting if you sit in uncomfortable positions for to long. Eventually this does fade, but it does not have to terminate all together. For example, my wife and I do not cuddle on the couch because I do have back problems, but every night we say we love each other and kiss each other goodnight. This “intimacy” means anything that you share romantically to keep you connected.
Sexual chemistry: This is the first prong to fade. I know it’s hard to hear but it is true. As you progress in age your libido will change. This can change because you are afflicted with a disease, or simply because you get older and you experience hormonal changes. Not many people in their 50’s have as strong of a libido as they had in their 20’s. Even if this does fade, that does not mean that your relationship has to fail. This surprisingly to some is the least important part of a long-term relationship. Simply because the frequency of intercourse changes, do not mean that your relationship is failing. If you your relationship has the first 6 prongs, do not throw your relationship out the window before conversing with your partner as to why the frequency has lessened.
We have found that if couples share these traits in their relationship, the relationship has a higher chance of success. The best relationships meet all of these prongs. If you are looking for a long-term relationship, pay attention to the prongs. They may mean the difference between a good relationship or a nasty divorce. For more information on any of our legal services, please call us for a free strategy consultation.