Divorce likely 'if husband is happier than wife'
It may appear a bit strange, but ladies, please note -- if your hubby is happier than you, then divorce is likely, a new study has claimed.
Economists at Deakin University have carried out the study and found that divorce is more likely if married couples have different happiness levels -- especially if the husband is happier.
For the study, the economists analysed data from three different countries -- Australia, Germany and Britain - and found that the higher the gap in happiness, even during the first year of marriage, the higher the risk of divorce.
Also, in three countries across all couples, women were happier than men. But men were happier than women during marriage only for those couples whose marriages ended with divorce, the study found.
Lead economist Dr Cahit Guven said: "We found that the gap in happiness is typically several times higher for couples in de facto relationships than for those who are married.
"In Australia for instance an increase in the happiness gap by one per cent increases the probability of separation by 0.2 per cent for legally married couples versus 0.9 per cent for de facto couples after controlling for potential factors of divorce.
"Compared with Germany this is pretty good, their probability was 0.5 per cent for de facto couples and 0.16 per cent for those who were legally married.
"Interestingly, the happiness gap decreases after the divorce for the divorced couples. However, the happiness gap between the divorced spouses after the divorce is still higher than those couples who stay married.
"This shows that they have made a bad choice at the beginning and the happiness gap stays at some level and does not disappear even though they are not together anymore."
Dr Guven said the divorce probability was correlated with levels of income and the distribution of the housework load. "The risk of divorce is positively related to the wife's income but negatively relates to husband's individual income."
However, the economists said in contrast the likelihood of divorce was reduced if the wife was retired, a housewife or full-time student, the housework was shared or there was a common religion or background.
Dr Guven said: "Evidence is also emerging to suggest that people have a happiness baseline which may flow according to life events, but it rarely stays below a certain level.
"Our research tends to support this view, and also shows that unlike other benefits in a marriage, happiness isn't able to be redistributed between the husband and the wife for those couples whose relationship ended with divorce."