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How an ‘attractiveness gap’ could lead to divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2019 | Family Law

There are a number of factors that can lead to conflict in a Virginia marriage, and some issues might be more complex than they appear on the surface. According to some researchers, men who marry women who are more conventionally attractive than them may have a higher risk of divorce. While social definitions of attractiveness may vary substantially from person to person, those who are generally considered more “beautiful” receive a large number of approaches and invitations on dating sites and other spaces designed for romantic or sexual interaction.

According to one study, women who say that their partners are much less attractive than themselves are also more likely to say that they flirt with other people. However, this may not necessarily indicate an objective attractiveness gap as much as it belies attitudes of contempt or disinterest within the relationship. Of course, these attitudes are known to lead to a higher likelihood of divorce. In other cases, couples that are apparently mismatched in appearance report issues with jealousy or controlling behavior directed toward the more-attractive partner.

However, some research points in a different direction. One interview of 82 newlywed couples found that men who had married women more attractive than themselves as assessed by third parties were more likely to be attentive and happy in the relationship. In addition, people who had a strong friendship prior to their romantic relationship were less likely to show troubling signs, regardless of the parties’ presumed attractiveness.

People of all appearances come together and find romantic relationships. By the same token, those people may also run into serious problems and intractable conflicts. When divorce becomes a reality, a family law attorney can help a soon-to-be ex address key issues and negotiate a settlement on child custody, spousal support and property division.