Scots set example for wedded success

  • reveals the results of a new biannual survey: the Happy Marriage Index

  • Scottish couples beat other regions with 78% happily married

2010, London, UK: The Happy Marriage Index was recently launched by the relationship site eHarmony and has unveiled some interesting statistics concerning married life in the UK.  Contradicting the recent adulteries, scandals and divorces of various celebrities, a positive 70% of married Brits are happy in their relationships. And Scotland is feeling even more positive than the rest of the UK, with 78% claiming marital felicity.

The 993 married people questioned came from all corners of the UK. When averaged across the nation, 70% of couples reported to be in happy marriages, However, Scotland triumphed with 78% of couples originating from the Scottish Isles claiming to be happy, followed closely by the Midlands where 73% claimed happy marriages.

The North England had a healthy 64% of people who consider themselves happy but were nonetheless the least positive of the five regions. Even so, whether couples are in Bristol dating or in Belfast dating, married life is generally looking more positive than the media often reports.

% of those who claim marital felicity by UK region:

South East Wales and South West Midlands Northern England Scotland
70% 67% 73% 64% 78%

When looking at the results by gender the survey showed that women were more positive about their marriages with 72% claiming they were happy compared to 67% of men. Conversely, 21% of male participants said that they were unhappily married, 4% more than the 17% of women who gave the same response. Less people were happy in marriages lasting more than 10 years, with 20% claiming to be unhappy compared with the 16% who were unhappy in 4 to 10-year-old marriages.

The Happy Marriage Index tracked many aspects of married life, including any regrets that the spouses might have. The 145 divorced and 30 separated participants were asked what they wished they had known before they married. 45% claimed that they were unaware of the bad habits of their partner and this knowledge might have saved their marriage. Another 45% regretted not knowing how important constant communication is in married life. In fact, 44% of all of the participants admitted to being ignorant of the importance of communication and wished this had been different. Compromise was another issue raised, 40% wishing they had known about its importance before walking up the aisle.

The Director of research and development for eHarmony, Dr Gian Gonzaga, Ph.D, gave his informed opinion on these new results, stating that: “Most couples will start off with very happy marriages.  But over time the stress of life can get in the way of maintaining that happiness.  Jobs, in-laws, bills, kids… all of these things can eat away at the quality of a marriage.  That is why it is so important that spouses stay connected and understand each other.  Good communication is critical, and if a couple fosters shared interests, common goals and values, it can help both spouses understand each other better.”

The eHarmony patented Compatibility Matching Systemâ„¢ was designed after years of careful research and attempts to narrow down the qualities that are essential for predicting marital success. Thousands of couples find love online with eHarmony because they are matched individually, with many different elements taken into consideration to bring people who share deep compatibility together.

Notes to Editors:

The eHarmony Happy Marriage Index is a six monthly study of 1000 married, separated, divorced and widowed people to assess their perceptions of the institution of marriage and relationships. The study was conducted for eHarmony by Omnibus during February 2010. The study was analysed by eHarmony during May 2010. Data was weighted to be nationally representative and there was a 5% risk level of error. The next Index will be published in December 2010.

Dr Gian Gonzaga, Ph.D
Dr. Gian Gonzaga is a relationship scientist and the senior director of research and development at eHarmony Labs. He has taught, presented and published extensively on topics relating to relationships, love and health, and has received numerous honors and awards for his work, including the prestigious National Science Foundation minority Predoctoral Fellowship and Psi Chi National Undergraduate Research Competition. He is a member of several professional and academic associations including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the International Society for the Study of Personal Relationships. Dr. Gonzaga holds a doctorate in Personality-Social Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

eHarmony Labs
eHarmony Labs  is  a research centre set up to investigate and understand what makes relationships successful. In addition to using current psychological literature and psychometric theory to guide new studies and eHarmony products, the Labs conducts ongoing observational studies of real couples to advance the understanding of relationships. eHarmony Labs is a pioneer of relationship research that extends beyond the US and into international markets.
eHarmony launched in the United Kingdom in 2008, following a period of extensive research into love and relationships in the UK. Working in partnership with the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, a multi-disciplinary research team gathered and analysed data to identify the patterns that predict compatibility for couples throughout the United Kingdom. After conducting the research, eHarmony developed models of compatibility specific to the United Kingdom resident population and now offers a UK relationship service based on a series of scientific models known as the Compatibility Matching Systemâ„¢.