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Spears and Federline
An early 2006 New York Times study gave Britney Spears and Kevin Federline a 1 percent chance of surviving five years of marriage. They were divorced after only two. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

In 2006, the New York Times printed an article, written by John Tierney and Garth Sundem, that gave a formula to predict the outcome of celebrity marriages.

In March 2012, the two writers redefined their formula, due to several years of results based on their predictions. Their research indicated that younger celebrity couples have a far less chance of marriage success than older couples and that the longer the courtship, the better the chances are for the pair.

For instance, in their formula, Romeo and Juliet stood a 0 percent chance of lasting five years. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline only stood a 1 percent chance of making it five years. The main variable the two researchers discovered over six years of tracking results was that the more superficial the relationship—the more “tabloid,” as they put it—the more it was doomed to an early crash. .

Celebrity marriages based on substance and quality interaction stood a far greater chance to outlast expectations. The two have also discovered that in celebrities, it is the wife’s fame that really matters. “Women initiate 70 percent of breakups.” If the female is substance over tabloid, the chances that the marriage will last are higher.

Are celebrities really that much different from us normal folk? No, they are not—just higher profile and a bit more impulsive. In the end, we all are just seeking meaningful love.

What are the variables that are found in successful marriages? What type of marriages last not only five years but until “death do us part”? Let’s examine some necessary ingredients:

1. God-centered. God must be in the center of each marriage for it to blossom and reach its full potential. Remember, you are a conduit of God’s love for your spouse. When a husband and wife are tapped into the bottomless ocean of the Lord’s grace, love and mercy, they are eager to have that overflow onto each other. Pray for strength, guidance and wisdom to love each other well.

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