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'Weird' things that increase the risk of divorce

Prevention magazine's Jordan Davidson has compiled a list of "really weird causes of divorce," using published scientific studies from around the world.

Illness

Some of them have gender-underpinnings. For instance, when women become ill, divorce is more likely than when men become ill, according to a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior by researchers at Iowa State University and Purdue. Davidson writes that "the study authors suggest the financial strain that illness causes coupled with an older man's ineptitude at caregiving contribute to marriage failure."

Addictions

Genderwise, divorce is also more likely when a woman out-drinks or has greater addictions than her husband. When the heavy drinker is female, that risk is twice as high as when the man is the heavy drinker, according to the Norwegian study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Divorce rates drop when couples don't drink.

First child's gender

Another gender head scratcher is research showing that divorce is more likely if the first child is a girl, compared to couples who first produce a son. University of Washington researchers looked at Census data spanning more than a half century to conclude that.

"Perceptual filter"

A team of University of Washington researchers said in 2000 that they could predict with 87 percent accuracy whether newlyweds would divorce within six years and at a slightly lower rate within a decade.

The key, they said, was getting an oral history of the relationship and coding the affection or lack thereof that was used in describing the other partner. They referred to it as a "perceptual filter."

SEE MORE: Top reasons couples divorce and how to head it off

Weight

Among other divorce boosters cited by Prevention are not being overweight (those who are appear to be less likely to break up).

Occupation

A few years ago, Business Insider reported on a study in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology that listed some of the occupations that had the highest divorce rates, including dancers and choreographers, bartenders, extruding machine operators and massage therapists. Optometrists, agricultural engineers and podiatrists are among those on the short list of occupations that don't lend themselves to divorce.

Attitude

A Business Insider article in January looked at a study by John Gottman of the Gottman Institute that found four attitudes are the best predictors of divorce: contempt, criticism, stonewalling and defensiveness.

A bit of expert advice on preserving relationships was published on Stateboroherald.com in April: "Treat your honey as if you'd never met."

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Email: lois@deseretnews.com, Twitter: Loisco