Did You Know

Couples Who Marry As Virgins Are More Likely To Have Happier Marriages

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We can all agree that a successful marriage takes hard work, and that there's really no magic formula that guarantees yours will last.

Some will say that their marriages work because of a combination of factors, such as trust, communication, and compromise, but for others, researchers may have found another interesting reason.

A new survey from the Institute of Family Studies has found that the number of past sexual partners a person has had can have an impact on marital happiness.

Nicholas Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah, and his team found that women who have had between six to 10 sexual partners were 13 percent less likely to be be content in their marriages. As for men, those who have been with more than 21 partners, were 15 percent less likely to be satisfied with their marriage.

More interestingly, 71 percent of men who have only had sex with one partner said they were happy in their relationship, while 64 percent women who only had intercourse with their spouse reported the same.

These findings led the researchers to the conclusion that people who wed as virgins are more likely to experience marital bliss when compared to those who have had multiple sexual partners. They also found that women with zero or one previous sex partners were also least likely to get divorced.

"Contrary to conventional wisdom, when it comes to sex, less experience is better, at least for the marriage," sociologist and senior fellow at the IFS W. Bradford Wilcox told The Atlantic.

Wolfinger also pointed out that having a four-year degree, attending religious services, and earning over $78,000 also correlated with marital happiness.

So what makes sexually inexperienced marriages work so well?

According to the experts, it's probably because people who save themselves for marriage might value their relationship more highly, which brings them a sense of satisfaction.

"Those who have never had sex with anyone but their spouse may be the kind of people who value commitment highly," explained Andrew Cherlin, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist. "They have never been interested in sex without commitment, and once married, they may be more committed to their spouses, and therefore happier."

Wilcox added that people with no previous sex partners may not know what they're missing, which could explain why they're happy with whoever they end up marrying.

"Having more partners prior to marriage makes you critically evaluate your spouse in light of previous partners, both sexually and otherwise," Wilcox said.

Still, we can't make conclusions about marriages in America just based on these numbers and theories because there are certainly other reasons that come into play.

After all, 64 percent of Americans have reported that they are "very happy" with their spouse, and they were all definitely not abstinent before saying "I do."

Do you agree with the study?

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.