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Is the Trophy Wife Gathering Dust?

A study by a Sociology Professor at the University of Wisconsin suggests that marriages are likely to last longer where the partners are of equal educational level, rather than in the more stereotypical relationship where the man is educated to a higher standard and picks a less intellectual partner.

The study suggests that things have changed significantly over the last 50 years, and between generations.

Marriage statistics for more than 50 years were considered, with the report suggesting that between the 1950s & 1980s, marriages lasting longest tended to fit the social stereotype of the time, with an educated male breadwinner marrying a less intellectual partner, with marriages around a third more likely to end in a divorce if it was the wife who was more educated.

By the 1990s however, the trend had changed with those traditional marriages having up to 40% more chance of ending in divorce than those where the wife was more educated or the parties were evenly matched.

The survey also suggests that the younger generation are more open to the idea of a marriage in which the wife is the more educated and more successful than their parents and grandparents would have been, and are less fearful of entering into relationships with a woman of higher intellect.

Of course, education can bring with it other complications which can cause problems in a marriage, such as long working hours and disputes over finances, however the report suggests that the basic dynamic of a successful marriage has evolved with society, as women have become increasingly equal in access to higher education and employment.

It seems then that if lasting love is the goal, you may be better at checking out a partner’s GCSE certificate than their physique.

Cara Nuttall is a Family LawDivorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

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