Se­cret of happy mar­riage? Only hav­ing had one sex­ual part­ner in your life­time

Daily Mail - - News - By Steve Doughty So­cial Af­fairs Cor­re­spon­dent

THE se­cret to a happy mar­riage is hav­ing just one sex­ual part­ner dur­ing your life, re­search has sug­gested.

It found that men and women who had only had sex with their spouse are 7 per cent more likely to be happy than those who played the field when sin­gle.

Even one or two sex­ual re­la­tion­ships be­fore mar­riage leads to lower lev­els of well­be­ing.

The ev­i­dence for the study for the USbased In­sti­tute for Fam­ily Stud­ies in­di­cates that the ben­e­fits of fidelity ex­tend be­yond a cou­ple’s mar­riage – and that celibacy be­fore find­ing a life part­ner may lead to greater well­be­ing in later years.

One rea­son may be that any­one who has had just one sex­ual part­ner is less aware of temp­ta­tions, ac­cord­ing to the study by Ni­cholas Wolfin­ger of Utah Univer­sity.

‘Spouses re­port­ing only one life­time sex­ual part­ner are 7 per cent more likely to be happy than are those with other part­ners,’ Pro­fes­sor Wolfin­ger said.

The fig­ures were pro­duced from find­ings of the US Gen­eral So­cial Sur­vey which showed that 64 per cent of women with

‘Less aware of the temp­ta­tions’

one sex­ual part­ner de­scribed them­selves as happy in their re­la­tion­ship.

A smaller share, 60 per cent, of those who had had two part­ners said they were happy with their hus­band; with four part­ners that num­ber fell to 54 per cent and with six to ten part­ners it was 52 per cent.

Among men, 71 per cent of those with just one part­ner said they were happy; hap­pi­ness lev­els also de­clined with more sex­ual part­ners.

Pro­fes­sor Wolfin­ger said: ‘The dif­fer­ence be­tween hav­ing one and more than one life­time sex­ual part­ner is most con­se­quen­tial in pre­dict­ing mar­i­tal qual­ity.

‘Peo­ple re­port­ing one life­time sex part­ner have the hap­pi­est mar­riages. Past one part­ner, it does not make as much of a dif­fer­ence. The over­all dis­par­ity is not huge, but nei­ther is it triv­ial.’

He said that some­one’s sex­ual his­tory may af­fect their be­hav­iour in com­pli­cated ways. For ex­am­ple, ‘peo­ple who are pro­mis­cu­ous be­fore mar­riage some­times don’t stop af­ter they are mar­ried, and adul­tery leads to un­happy mar­riages’.

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