Getting Divorced? Here's Why You Should Blame Your Parents

New research says genetics plays a major role in splitting up.

Contrary to popular belief, the divorce rate peaked in 1980 and has actually been declining ever since. Nonetheless, around half of marriages today end in divorce, and the common culprits are assumed to be anything from classic staples like bad communication to more modern issues like tech addiction and microcheating.

But what if your divorce isn't your fault? What if you're genetically predisposed to it because of your genes?

That's the claim made by a controversial new study published in Psychological Science by Jessica Salvatore and Kenneth Kendler of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics.

The researchers looked at the divorce rates of 20,000 adopted children in Sweden, and compared them to the divorce rates of their adoptive parents and biological parents. While no correlation was found with the adoptive parents, they did find a correlation with biological parents, leading them to believe that there might be some divorce-inducing genes that parents pass down to their children the same way you might pass down a higher risk of cancer or a thyroid problem.

The researchers also compared the divorce rates of adopted children to their biological siblings who were raised in different households, as well as to adoptive siblings who were raised in the same house as them. Once again, nature seemed to win out over nurture, leading researchers to conclude that there was "consistent evidence that genetic factors contributed to the intergenerational transmission of divorce but weaker evidence for a rearing-environment effect of divorce."

Now, obviously, this is a bit depressing, as it makes it seem like your marriage is doomed to fail through no fault of your own. However, think of it this way: the researchers estimated that having divorced biological parents makes you 20 percent more likely to get divorced yourself, which isn't all that high. And just like with other issues passed down by our parents, you can take preventative measures and beat the odds! Your fate is still in your hands.

As any happy-married celeb will tell you, the number one way to prevent divorce is to choose the right partner. And for help figuring out if your significant other is The One, check out 15 Signs Your Partner Is Marriage Material.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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