You Have to Work at it

I was recently reading the book Barking Up the Wrong Tree, and came across a fascinating study. The research compared love marriages—couples that marry because they are in love—versus arranged marriages—couples that marry because they are arranged by the parents. As expected, love marriages score a 70 (out of 91), whereas arranged marriages score a 58.

What’s fascinating is that a decade later, the arranged marriages scored a 68 (close to the original score of love marriages), whereas love marriages score a lowly 40. The author Eric Baker hypothesized the reason for these unexpected results.

Arranged marriages know they need to work on their marriages right from the beginning, and continue to do so throughout the marriage. Love marriages assume love will conquer all, and don’t adequately develop the skills to negotiate conflict and life stressors. This study emphasizes the importance of working on one’s marriage right from the beginning.