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News & Articles

Osborne Morris & Morgan > News and Articles > Family > 21 interesting facts about marriage you (probably) didn’t know!

21 interesting facts about marriage you (probably) didn’t know!

Posted on 5 Apr 2017, in Family

Ok, so you might know some of them, but we challenge you to read this article and not learn something new!

For some, marriage is what a particular date in the calendar means to them, receiving flowers and perhaps, going out for dinner. But here we look at what marriage actually means and the interesting facts surrounding it.  

21 interesting facts about marriage you (probably) didn’t know!

1.The term ‘marriage’ comes from theMiddle English word ‘mariage’– which appeared around 1250–1300

2. ‘Wife’ is likely to come from the Indo-European root ‘ghwibh’, meaning “shame” or ‘pudenda’. The original meaning of the phrase ‘wife’, meaning ‘woman”, can be seen in words such as ‘midwife’ and ‘fishwife’.

3. ‘Husband’ is from the Old Norse ‘husbondi’ or ‘master of the house’ (literally, ‘hus-house’ + bondi ‘householder, dweller’).

Choosing your partner

4. Psychological and social research indicates there is a significant pattern in how people choose their partners. The Matching Hypothesis, a social psychology theorem, suggests that people are more likely to form and succeed in a relationship with someone who is equally desirable. This doesn’t have to be physical, other socially desirable qualities such as intelligence and personality also count.

5. That said, research also suggests that couples who are too similar to each other are less likely to last. While a foundation of similarities can help, there should also be things you can learn from each other.

6. Litigious Americans need to be extra cautious before popping the question (or accepting), as you can be sued for breaking off an engagement in nearly half of U.S. states.

Sex – there is no ‘normal’ amount

7. According to Newsweek magazine, married couples have sex about 68.5 times a year, which works out at a little more than once a week.

8. A University of Chicago Study revealed 32% of married couples have sex two or three times a week and 47% say they have sex a few times a month.

9. David Schnarch, PhD, studied more than 20,000 couples and found that only 26% of couples were having sex once a week.


10. People who commute for more than 45-minutes are 40% more likely to divorce.

11. A 99-year-old man divorced his 96-year-old wife after 77 years of marriage because he discovered an affair she had in the 1940s.

12. Couples who spend more money on their wedding are more likely to divorce, a study found.

13. Researchers found a huge decline in happiness after the first four years of marriage, followed by another decline in years seven to eight. Half of all divorces occur in the first seven years of marriage- hence the term ‘seven-year -itch’.

Happy marriages

14. The longest recorded marriage lasted 90 years and 291 days.

15. Wake Forest University psychologists claim that marriage does more to promote life satisfaction than money, sex, or even having children.

16. Spouses name ‘trust’, over friendship, laughter, forgiveness and sex, as the most essential element for a happy marriage.

Historic Marriages

17. In 1533 Henry VIII famously broke England’s ties with the Catholic Church and changed the face of our nation forever purely because he wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.

18. Recordings of same sex marriages date back to ancient times. At least 2 of the Roman Emperors were in same sex unions. Nero, the Roman Emperor, was the first Roman emperor to marry one of his freedmen. The relationship continued without too much debate until Christianity became the official religion. In 1989, Denmark was the first post-Christianity nation to legally recognise same-sex marriage

Bizarre traditions

19. In the 16th and 17th century in Europe and America, the concept of ‘bundling’ was widely used. This allowed courting couples to get to know each other and share a bed fully clothed with a ‘bundling board’ to separate them – in the safety of the girl’s house.

20. In some parts of 18th Century Europe, a biscuit or small loaf of bread was broken over the head of the bride as she came out from the church. Unmarried guests would collect the pieces and place them under their pillows to increase their own chances of marriage.

It’s thought this is where our wedding cake tradition comes from.

Love actually

21. An impressive 75-year-long study, conducted by a group of Harvard researchers, has shown that love is all that really matters. The participants’ lifelong experiences revealed that happiness and life fulfilment revolved around love or simply searching for love.

Love is really all that matters.

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