According to a recent study out of the U.K., the more siblings one has, the less likely he or she is to get divorced. For each added brother or sister, researchers found, the probability of divorce later in life dropped by as much as 11%. A similar study in the U.S. a few years ago yielded similar results.
A range of theories have been suggested to explain this phenomenon. Siblings teach us how to live with and love someone we do not always like, and a house full of people is a very effective way to learn conflict resolution. These are useful skills and can even help one set realistic expectations for marriage.
Of course, this does not mean that an only child is socially deficient or destined for divorce. But it does point to the reality that marriage and family belong together. Family life is a crucible. It’s hard, and it makes us better people.
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