The day my baby brother stabbed my Stretch Monster with pencils, I wanted to sell him to the neighbor down the street. (You don’t know what a Stretch Monster is? Seriously? How could you possibly not?) As for my older brother, on the day he punched me in the face after I accidentally (okay, perhaps somewhat intentionally) kicked his boom box, I wished for him to disappear—forever.
I wished for the disappearance of my brothers a lot. Fortunately, my wish never came true.
Yet my brothers taught me more than they hurt me, and one of the more perverse lessons of all just might be this one: the secret to a happy marriage.
According to a 40-year-long Ohio State University study of 57,000 adults presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting, this is no anomaly. Each additional sibling we grew up with reduces our likelihood of divorce by 2 percent. In other words, people who grow up with six brothers and sisters tend to have happier marriages than people who grow up with just one or two. What do people from big families know about staying happily married? Here eight couples share their hardest learned lessons.
What did you learn about life, marriage and happiness from your siblings? Did they teach you important lessons that shape your life to this day?
Read more of Alisa’s writing at ProjectHappilyEverAfter.com.