The University of Virginia has released the results of its five year study into marital quality, with interesting results. Key findings are that having more relationships before marriage is related to lower marital quality: the more sexual partners a woman had before marriage, the less happy she reported her marriage to be. The researchers theorise this is because with more experience of partners comes more ‘awareness of alternative partners’. Further, having lived with multiple partners in the past is a risk factor for divorce, while marriages that began with a ‘hook-up’ were, perhaps unsurprisingly, less likely to last. On the other hand, those who waited to have sex reported higher levels of marital quality.
Controversially, the researchers also found that having more wedding guests could lead to a stronger marriage–people who had a large, formal wedding reported having a ‘higher quality’ marriage than those who did not.