A study recommends that 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.
One couple that the formula appears to fit is the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Her Majesty is four years, ten and a half month younger than the Duke. According to the research, they certainly share the same type of background, even if the foreign-born Duke (a member of the Greek and Danish royal families by birth) had to become a naturalised British before their marriage. As to their respective intelligence, it is not proper to speculate.
The academic study, which was published sometime ago, based its finding on couples aged between 19 and 75 years, to find which social factors were most important in long and happy relationships. The study added that a wife should be at least 27 per cent more intelligent than her husband. She should also hold a degree, while he might not.
The research concluded, “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.”
Relationship experts thought there might be something in the research.
One had this to say, “Aren’t most women the more intelligent in a relationship anyway? It’s the only finding that rings true here. Because it’s women who tend to determine the emotional landscape of a relationship. So I don’t find it surprising that women should be more intelligent.”
However, she warned that men should not resign themselves to stupefying passivity. “Intelligent men understand that for a relationship to be happy, their partner has to be happy,” she said.
Another thought there could be an evolutionary reason for women to be the more intelligent partner in successful long-term relationships. She 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. But you can convince yourself of anything .‘’
Yet another 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, it’s about teamwork. It’s not about one being dominant over the other, “ said a contributor, who has been married for 41 years.
Well, the research seems rather elitist to me because there are a lot of ‘non formally educated’ women with enviable marriages. Age and education alone cannot make a marriage, attitude plays a more important role.
Marriages are rather subject to individual circumstances. Take me for example, only God knows what I will be doing with a man that I can’t look up to, intellectually. There are successful marriages involving women that are older than their husbands. People’s culture has to be taken into cognizance too.
Finally, if the only marriage that seems to come close enough, in exemplifying the claims of this study, is that of the British monarch, then the research cannot be used as a yard stick for measuring the ideal marriage. A lot of successful marriages (which are far from the claims in this research) abound.