Families logo

How I Can Predict If a New Marriage Will Work or Fail

by Jason Provencio about a month ago in values / humanity / divorced / advice
Report Story

One of my superpowers is predicting happily-ever-after or divorce during the wedding

Marriage: Betting half your shit you’ll be together forever. Photo by Євгенія Височина on Unsplash

One thing I’ve always been good at is knowing whether a relationship will usually work out long-term or not. This is often possible to figure out once I hang around the two people in the relationship at least a couple or few times. I can remember every wedding I’ve attended where I thought about if the couple had a good chance of making it long-term, or if a divorce was imminent.

It’s actually not that difficult to predict. By observing how the two people interact with each other, you can fairly easily determine if they are compatible enough or patient enough to be good to each other for the long haul. You have to pick someone whose voice won’t make you cringe every time you hear it, decades later.

I once had a boss at a job who told me a story about telling a coworker about getting engaged. This man was very concerned for Reed and pulled him aside to make sure to discuss things with him prior to their wedding.

(Read the co-worker’s part in the voice of comedian JB Smoove because that’s how Reed described his voice when telling me this story)

“Reed. REED! I heard you are getting married. Is true?”

Reed: “Yes, I’m getting married.”

Co-worker, “Aw man. Ok. Well, I have to ask you three questions then, before you go forward with this!”

Reed, chuckling: “Ok, go ahead.”

CW: “Ok, is she the best lay you’ve ever had? Things good there?”

Reed, laughing: “She’s great. All good there.”

CW: “Ok, that’s good. Because that’s the last pussy you’re ever going to get. Ok, second question: “Do you like being around her, spending time together, and all that shit?”

Reed: “Uh, sure. We get along great.”

CW: “Ok, that’s also good. Because you’re gonna get old and quit having sex, and eventually you’re going to have to talk to her.”

*Reed, still laughing.

CW: Final question: “Is this worth betting half your shit over? Because that’s what it ends up coming down to.”

Reed: “Absolutely.”

CW: “Well then, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife! Don’t forget to kiss the Bride for me, and have her call you Charlie at least once, on the honeymoon!”

It’s important to have compatibility in a long-term relationship or marriage. I’ve had too many friends who married someone that I knew was not a very good match for them. One of my closest friends once married his girlfriend of three or four years and we all knew that was a mistake.

He was so goofy and funny. She was rarely able to appreciate his humor. She’d either get her feelings hurt easily or yell “MICHAEL!” any time she thought his jokes went too far or were too inappropriate. She was honestly a drag to be around, much of the time.

When I heard they were getting divorced, I wasn’t a bit surprised. This was back when we were young adults, and I started getting good at observing friends, family, or acquaintances getting married and knowing whether or not they’d end up making it or not.

These were the types of relationships where I knew it would be unlikely for the couple to make it five or ten years together. Most of the time these went far less than that and it was sad to admit that I knew that was likely going to happen. Here are a few scenarios that rarely work out.

1. When One of the Two is Far More Serious Than the Other

It’s better to have someone who is as fun-loving and goofy as you are as your spouse than someone who’s too serious. Photo by Taylor Deas-Melesh on Unsplash

I’ve seen this one many times. The instance I mentioned above, and far too many other ones. Usually, I’ve observed the husband being a pretty goofy, funny guy while the wife is being more practical and usually taking steps to tone down her husband.

I have also observed this in the reverse, though that has been rarer than in the first way I mentioned this. I’ve seen a couple where the woman is far more entertaining, silly, and fun and the man is usually trying to get her to settle down to some degree.

Either scenario in this example rarely works out, in the long term. If one or the other of the couple is quite different than the other person and they have a big personality while the other is more quiet and subdued, it tends not to change over time and this couple is generally not destined to stay together.

2. When One is Religious and the Other Person is Not

Be careful about choosing a spouse who puts their religion ahead of your marriage. Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

This scenario doesn’t offer much hope for many couples in this situation. I’ve been to a few weddings in my time where two people get married, but only one of them is of a certain religion and that religion is very important to them. This type of marriage can often lead to divorce if the religious person puts their religious beliefs ahead of the feelings of the non-religious person.

This also may create an even further rift between the two people in the marriage if they have children. Often, the religious one of the two wants the children to be raised in their chosen religion. Should the other non-practicing person disagree, this can lead to turmoil and strife.

This type of relationship and marriage CAN work out, but it’s usually if the non-religion person doesn’t have strong opinions about their mate or children participating in their religion of choice. Sadly, this is more of the exception than the norm, at least in the examples I’ve personally observed.

3. If One Person is Very Social and the Other One Doesn’t Enjoy Social Settings

Someone who enjoys the social scene might have a hard time being married to someone who doesn’t enjoy going out often. Photo by Jacob Bentzinger on Unsplash

This can be a problematic scenario for a couple when one person enjoys socializing outside of the home with friends or acquaintances, and the other prefers to be far less social and stay home for most of their free time. This seems more common in two different scenarios.

The first scenario I’ve seen this more commonly is when the two people have greatly differing work or school schedules. I’ve known couples where one of the two people works or goes to school full time, and sometimes both. Then you have the other person who doesn’t work full-time or go to school and has more time at home than the other person

Naturally, the person who is the busier of the two tends to want to rest or chill at home with the limited free time they have, while the other person is ready to get out of the house and socialize more than the other person cares to. If the person who is outside of the home due to work or school doesn’t want to add yet another thing to their already busy schedule, conflict can ensue.

I’ve also seen this scenario between couples with a large age difference between them. Again, if they aren’t on the same page regarding their time spent being social outside of their home, it can lead to arguments and conflict. I’ve observed couples with a larger age gap of 15 to 20 years having a very different idea than the other about how much time they care to spend at home. It can lead to major disagreements, arguments, and even divorce.

4. When the Couple Doesn’t Have Much in Common With Each Other

When people don’t have common interests, they often grow apart. Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

Compatibility is important in a long-term relationship or marriage. If you don’t have much to discuss with each other, communication becomes more unimportant as each person is pursuing other goals in life and different things than the person they’re married to.

Just as Charlie mentioned to Reed in the conversation earlier in this article, being able to enjoy talking to your person is vitally important. Almost everyone goes through that New Couple stage where everything is sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows everywhere. But as you spend many years together, it’s important that you truly enjoy talking to each other and have some interests in common to keep you close.

This isn’t to say you can’t have your own interests you enjoy doing alone. We all need our free time to pursue the things that make us feel happy and fulfilled. However, it’s important to have a few other things you enjoy doing together and to be able to converse with each other. Talking about your interests keeps the lines of communication open. This makes a couple feel content and they’re more likely to stay together long-term if they’re happy being with each other.

5. If One Person is Manipulative and Controlling When the Other Person is More Chill

Being manipulated and controlled does not make for a happy marriage. Photo by Sivani B on Unsplash

I feel really bad for couples who have this scenario happening. More so for the person who is more relaxed and easily influenced. They usually are the kind, more relaxed person of the two. The one who is manipulative and generally calls all the shots thinks they are the sly, smoother one of the two, and can turn things in their favor by being manipulative and seemingly nice and kind.

They may indicate to their partner that they’re being suggestive for the other person’s good or tell them that they’re just better at being decisive and making decisions. Yet they are using this excuse to implement controlling and sneaky behavior on their end of the relationship.

This may work for part or a large chunk of the relationship until the person being controlled and manipulated has had enough. They often grow to resent the other person who has always called most of the shots during their time together. If it’s been bad enough and the person guilty of the manipulation refuses to change, a breakup or divorce often occurs.

You Don’t Have to Be a Fortune Teller to Predict the Outcome of a New Marriage

I don’t actually feel as though I have a bonafide superpower in being able to predict if the couple will live happily ever after or if they’ll be divorced in a year. If I know the two people even reasonably well, I can usually tell during their wedding which of the two scenarios is far more likely.

If they laugh together, that’s huge. If they are similar in their beliefs, their goals, and their daily lifestyle, those factors play in their favor. I like to watch how they interact with each other on the big day of their wedding. If they are having a wonderful time and enjoying themselves, they have an excellent chance.

If they are stressed out, being snappy with each other, and generally feeling anxious and worried about every little detail of their wedding day, pull the plug. Or somebody sit them down and explain to them that life isn’t this serious. Go with the flow, enjoy the little unplanned things that pop up and make things challenging. Your marriage is going to be full of them often.

Oh, and show me the mother-in-laws during the wedding, please. Maybe even the fathers-in-law, too. If they have terrible, drama-causing examples of either, their marriage is probably screwed. Especially if they live in town. &:^)


About the author

Jason Provencio

Husband, father, writer, and poet. I love blogging about family, politics, relationships, humor, and writing. Buy me a coffee? https://ko-fi.com/jasonpro9

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (2)

Sign in to comment
  • NJ Gallegos about a month ago

    You've absolutely hit the nail on the head with these! I'll be marrying my partner of 7 years this next week and I can absolutely say we have the same shitty sense of humor, introversion, non-religion, shared likes, and we're both fairly chill... except she tells the waiter when I ordered french fries and they bring me mashed potatoes lol! Great article.

  • Denise Sheltonabout a month ago

    My son and I went to a family wedding. Afterward, we looked at each other and both said something about how we didn’t think it would work out. It didn’t. What we were responding to, the differences between the culture of the two families, was not the whole picture. The groom had mental health issues and I’m pretty sure he cheated. (When I refer to culture, I mean their values and the way they interacted, not differences in nationality or religion.) What got me thinking was when the grooms mom gushed that the bride (who was an artist) did such “cute” paintings. Ouch! I bet even Beatrix Potter would have been offended.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.