Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Siblings could be the key to a happy marriage

It was so cold out this morning that I decided to wait in the car while my husband ran a quick errand.   To fill the time I picked up a Readers Digest he had left on the seat and the magazine fell open to an article with the opening sentence "The more siblings you have, the less likely you are to divorce."

Being the eldest of thirteen that certainly caught my attention.  I went online to find the article and the highlights are copied below.  I will give you my opinion after the article.  

Siblings could be the key to a happy marriage

A General Social Survey study presented at the American Sociological Association, of the family circumstances of 60,000 adults finds that the more siblings you have, the less likely you are to get divorced later in life: Each additional sibling, up to seven, reduces the likelihood of divorce by nearly 2 percent. Reasons include learning significant social skills like openness and sharing, as well as other qualities that foster solid relationships. Having one or two brothers or sisters didn’t have a large effect but the difference between being in a big family and being an only child was ‘meaningful’.

  • Those with seven or more siblings end up having the most stable marriages 
  • Research shows that children are better able to cope with a family break-up if they have sisters.  
  • Previous studies have shown that only children and those from small families tend to do better at school, perhaps because they are getting more attention at home.
  • Those from big families, however, are more sociable as young children. Evaluations of social skills and grades aren’t trivial but divorce is a more concrete, consequential event in a person’s life.
 I found this article very interesting.  I live in a small town and almost every family I knew growing up had six or more children.  In fact there were only twelve homes on the country road we lived on and two school buses were needed to get all the children to school each day.  Those families ranged from an "Only" child to eighteen children.  This caused me to look back over all these families that I still know about and I counted very few divorces. 

 My mother was raised in a Baptist home and had five siblings.  Her father (one of ten) was divorced twice and one sister has been divorced three times.  My father was one of six (all Catholic) and there was no divorces in his family.My first husband was one of six (Baptist): two never married and one sister divorced. My present husband is one of three children (Presbyterian) and they have all been divorced.

Of my twelve siblings two are priest so they will never marry.  Two sisters have each been divorced so that leaves nine of us who have remained married.  I  confess my first marriage was not the happiest, and I considered divorce but we were married thirty-seven years when he passed away.  

I will not even try to list my umpteen Zillion cousins.  

So is the rarity of divorce in my family because the study is correct? Or is it because I grew up in a very Catholic community that did not believe in divorce?  Or could it just be because of the time periods when these marriages took place? You decide. 

1 comment:

  1. Sorry I missed seeing this! As a 'lonely-only', I think this story has merit. Awful, yes - but deep-down, I really don't like to share. I remember one huge blow-out that occurred almost 40 years ago when my (then) hubby let his teenage son drive my brand-new sports car. In retrospect, I'm surprised he didn't just return it to the dealership!