Could Genes Impact Likelihood of Divorce?

A new study from Northwestern University shows that your genes play a role in your potential for marital bliss. The study was initiated from the concept that some marriages have one spouse tuned in exceptionally well to the emotions of the marriage while the other spouse is out of touch and needs emotional reminders. Emotional differences played out over time can challenge the marriage, leading to divorce.

US Berkeley psychologist Robert W. Levenson says that the genetic findings from the study link to a person’s emotional needs and perception in marriage. The study’s researchers reviewed the genotypes for 100 spouses and observed partner interaction. Their conclusion was that a gene variant known as 5-HTTLPR, passed down from parents and linked to serotonin regulation, played a significant role in marital happiness.

Those participants with two short 5-HTTLPR genes were the least likely to experience wedded bliss when emotions like anger or contempt were introduced to the relationship. Those same individuals were happiest in their marriages when humor and affection were prominent emotions. A great deal of research has been exploring factors that might lead to divorce recently, but this is really a new effort to link genetic makeup to the potential for marital unhappiness.

Disagreements and the resulting fighting can have a significant impact on your marriage. Making the decision to move forward with a divorce is not an easy one, especially if you are not familiar with the process. Experienced divorce planning attorneys can help you understand what your divorce might look like and give you an overview of what to expect. Divorce planning consultations will help you better understand the potential cost, relevant child custody concerns, and the possible time length for your divorce. If you feel that it’s time to make the next move and dissolve your marriage, only do so after consulting with a talented Illinois family attorney.