Spouses do not grow more alike over time, says a Michigan study that is based on data from Minnesota.
The finding flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which has suggested that as couples age together, they begin to adapt to the other by assuming the characteristics and personality of the other.
The truth, according to the study: It’s all a matter of whom you picked in the first place, along with blind luck. You probably picked someone who was already like you. There is no apparent link between how long you’re married, and how similar you become to your spouse.
The study used data from the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research at the University of Minnesota, focusing on 1,296 couples married an average of 19 years.
The study authors issued one caveat: They didn’t study couples who were more recently married. They said it’s possible that a conversion to be more spouse-like happens earlier in the marriage than the couples they studied.
They also said one exception to the study of personalities is aggression. “It makes sense if you think about it,” Mikhila Humbad, the lead investigator said. “If one person is violent, the other person may respond in a similar fashion and thus become more aggressive over time.”