Scientists announced that for a successful marriage, a bride should be five years younger than her groom, should come from the same cultural background, and be the more intelligent of the pair if couples are to have a successful marriage.
The report published in The Telegraph talks about a team from the Geneva School of Business that found that this formula. The study shows that, if adhered to, the formula would increase a couple’s chances of a long and happy marriage by 20%.
The academic study, published in the European Journal of Operational Research looked at 1,074 couples aged between 19 and 75 years, to find which social factors were most important to a long and happy relationship.
Besides the man being five years older than his bride, and that his bride should share the same heritage, they concluded that a wife should be at least 27% more intelligent than her husband. She should also hold a degree, while he should not.
The academics found that marrying a divorcee reduced the chance of wedded bliss.
Nguyen Vi Cao, who led the research, promised: “If people follow these guidelines in choosing their partners they can increase their chances of a happy, long marriage by up to 20 per cent.”
Kate Figes, who interviewed 120 people for her recent book on understanding relationship, Couples, said: “Aren’t most women the more intelligent in a relationship anyway? That’s my first reaction.
“It’s the only finding that rings true, from what I’ve found. Because it’s women who tend to determine the emotional landscape of a relationship,” she said.
“So I don’t find it surprising that women should be more intelligent.”
However, she warned that men should not stop making an effort.
“Intelligent men understand that for a relationship to be happy, their partner has to be happy,” she said.
Linda Blair, the clinical psychologist and author of Straight Talking, said: “Going back to prehistory, women have needed to invest more in relationships than men, because men are more biologically adapted to spread their seed around.”
They were therefore more likely to invest their intellectual abilities in maintaining that bond, she added.
“But you can convince yourself of anything,” she added.
However, Christine Northam, a marriage counsellor for Relate, said dismissively of the findings: “There are lies, lies and statistics.”
She could not agree that wives should be more intelligent than their husbands.
“Modern marriage is about both of you having an input in the relationship,” said Mrs Northam, who has been married for 41 years.
“It’s about teamwork. It’s not about one being dominant over the other.”