Sunday, 10th April 2011

Heed Colin Firth’s marriage tip
Kristina Chetcuti

A study shows that people who smile in photographs when they are young are less likely to get divorced than those who frowned in childhood snaps. Now that you’ve proposed, the next step is to ensure you stay married. It’s all well and good for everybody to bleat out the importance of hard work and sacrifice, but surely there is a more pleasant, cheerful way to ensure marriage longevity? Well, mathematicians are now telling us marital success is dependent on something altogether more calculating – a maths formula. According to a team of psychologists and mathematicians at the University of Washington in Seattle, one plus one equals a couple. The research, based on spending hours watching couples communicate, allows them to predict, with 94 per cent accuracy, whether a couple will remain happily united or head inexorably for the divorce courts. Another study suggests that people who smile in photographs when they are young are less likely to get divorced than those who frowned in childhood snaps.

Who would have thought it of optometrists. But I needn’t worry for. despite hoards of admirers. it’s easier to simply follow some advice in girly magazines. given to us by none other than the man of the moment himself: actor Colin Firth. I phone the husband of another girlfriend and convince him. after all. She phoned me on the second day: “I just tried to give the husband his third hug today and he’s going ‘Oy! What’s wrong?” It clearly wasn’t working. postmen or journalists were conspicuously absent in these statistics. That’s bloody irritating. But then. Should all prospective brides and grooms change career? Will optometric clinics replace nail salons? Nah. in the name of love. his wife of 15 years. he doesn’t find it difficult to stay faithful to Livia. to try it out. that sort of thing. I got one of my married girlfriends to try and test this. boring teachers. Apparently he caught his wife way too unawares when he moved in close and whispered “You are special. so I suggested she adopt the ‘whisper therapy’ and read out the detailed instructions in Grazia: “Whisper words at regular intervals to remind him what you like about him – ‘handsome’. I had to stop writing this to check out my childhood album photos: toothy grins from year one. they’re heading for martial breakdown. you face a 43 per cent likelihood of divorce compared with. I’m one of those hapless 10 per cent. If you’re a farmer. or perhaps the study referred to posh smiles. So I do. you face only a seven per cent likelihood of divorce and optometrists face a mere four per cent likelihood. she doesn’t do anything to match up to your wife.” “Jesus.” he said. Psychologists at Radford University reached the following conclusions: if you’re a dancer. you know the ones. . the probabilities of marital success could simply be based on a spouse’s career. say. I finally come across the solution.The study. Old. found that only 10 per cent of people who smiled in early photos had gone through a divorce in later life compared to 31 per cent of those who wore straight faces. The latest trend to ensure marital success according to Cosmo is to give your spouse ‘four hugs a day’. I’m now worried that unless my friends swiftly change careers. published in the journal Motivation and Emotion. ‘clever’. find someone else to test your article ideas. for one reason: “It does help to actually realise that however stunning the person is who is fluttering their eyelashes at you. the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology reported that chances of marriage breakdown are at 38 per cent for massage therapists and only eight per cent for dentists. all curved lips. In a recent interview he revealed that. no teeth showing. Not to be outdone. Clearly. eh? They’re the blokes that test your vision and prescribe corrective glasses.” she said. who face a 22 per cent likelihood. That’s it.” The effect was a tad too dramatic: she shrieked and hit him on the head with the shampoo bottle she was holding. animal trainers.

But the real secret is time – we have to make sure we spend enough time together. you’re going to have to take care of. the photo grins. the quota hugs and the whispers: if you want to stay married.” In what is probably the best (non-kingly) speech of his life. to me she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. he added: “We are crazy about each other. you go: “Phowar!” krischetcuti@gmail. Forget the math. there’s a marathon factor to . but it makes things easier.“Maybe it’s shallow of me to have a wife that’s so beautiful.” So. the careers. it’s simple really. “Every relationship in life. make sure that when you look at your future spouse.

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