This Reuters article is likely to receive widespread commentary: Algebra Points the Way to a Happy Marriage.

Laurence Simon observes, “How many lines of cocaine did the reporter snort to believe this crap?”

Actually, the article doesn’t give much info at all. There’s an unspecified formula but it’s based on the results of a psychological examination that factors in all sorts of fairly important indicators. So, really, the algebra is just a weighted analysis of the evaluation. I suspect most psychologists, marriage counselors, or clergymen could predict which marriages are doomed based on an such an evaluation. Probably a pretty sizable chunk of couples that marry rather obviously aren’t compatible. It astounds me how many people get married without even discussing such major issues as whether/how many kids to have, whether the mother is going to stay home with said kids, how the finances will be handled, religious compatibility, and the like.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Lemon says:

    …who will do the laundry, does the person who leaves for work first get the newspaper or not, whether eating in the car is appropriate behavior, which way the toilet paper should hang, and whether one of the two partners can become a foul-mouthed blogger.

    I think that about covers it.

  2. James Joyner says:


    Not to mention Corvette acquisition.

  3. Janis Gore says:

    Too few points for humor.