Do audiophiles have a high divorce rate?


Somebody told me yesterday that a study that looked at personality traits of people who got divorced found that people who were picky and difficult to satisfy were over-represented in the divorce population.

That got me thinking: picky and difficult to satisfy -- that doesn't sound like any of us, does it?

From your observations, do you think that audiophiles might have a higher divorce rate than the general population because of certain personality characteristics?

Just hoping my hypothesis is wrong.

Michael
2338370f 75a5 491b 8cae 8306c438872bAg insider logo xs@2xsufentanil
I've only been married and divorced 9 times, you wouldn't call that a problem would you? Many in Hollywood do much worse.

By the way, that IS a joke. My wife and I have been together for 34 years and I don't know how she does it.
I'm going on 30 years married to one woman . . .
When I first met my future wife she owned a Tandberg reel-to-reel tape recorder. It was love at first sight.
Then I discovered it was only mono.
Still together forty years later, and have only had to upgrade my components, not my spouse.
I'm in for one. Happily remarried to a wonderful woman and couldn't be happier. Of interest, her ex was an audiophile as well??? You should have seen her face the first time I brought up speakers when we were first dating!
Wow Brad, you musta married young (you don't look that old!).

My wife & I are going on 20 yrs-the first for ea. of us, although we've been together for ~26 yrs.
Very little data on this...
Well, the US divorce rate is high, period, with estimates ranging from over 40% to over 60%. Split the difference, and you've got the oft quoted 50%. Interestingly, the modal (most typical) prediction of likelihood of divorce for both marrieds and singles seems to be around 0%, and the same for the once divorced! We're hopefully beasts, thankfully! (see Fowers, B. J., Lyons, E., Montel, K. H., and Shaked, N. 2001. “Positive Illusions About Marriage Among Married and Single Individuals.” Journal of Family Psychology 15: 95-109)

My guess is that we know very little about risk factors, save some pretty obvious ones, like extreme youth in a couple. In the particular case of audiophiles, obsessing on a (n often non-decor friendly) hobby might cause marital strain. On the other hand, audiophiles as a group may be more secure than average financially, which may in some instances be helpful. On the idea that there is an "audiophile personality," I'm a bit skeptical: seems a pretty diverse group on this site anyway, though I'd expect there are some trends having to do with age, gender, income, and race. In the end, I'm skeptical about the notion that "personality traits" have as much to do with the course of ourlives as people seem to think (I've gone on at length about this elsewhere: http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521608902

So all you guys can taske satisfaction in both your marriages and your hobby, without a shred of guilt! Congratulations on your successful unions!

jmd
yes Jeff, of course, I was very, very young ;-]
Perhaps audiophiles, with their neuroses towards acheiving perfection, are less likely to get divorced?!!! Perhaps the audio hobby "drains" that internal dynamic that (near) continuously challenges the attainment of satisfaction, the "never-completely-satisfied" mechanism. By dealing with that trait in the audio hobby, it may just spare the spouse! After all, we all need to come to terms with the impossibility of perfection (even in audio), and the impact of that realization could well cause a feller to seek solidity with their spouse. Just a theory...
Listener57: I loved your post! Made me laugh out load and had to share it with my spouse. Chiming in as another lucky audio nut who's been with the same listening partner for over 32 years. And she's going with me this afternoon to a friend's house to listen to his recently updated system.
.
My wife made some interesting points (married 6 years and she doesn't connect with the audio thing at all). There is a profound difference between your relationship with a static object, and a dynamic relationship with a human being. Those who are most likely to get divorced may also include many who treat the partner more like an object than a human being.

I would add that there is a difference between those who pursue this hobby to actually enjoy their music on a regular basis, and those who pursue it as an extension of their johnson.

Perhaps another interesting question might be: To those like Albert and BDGregory...to what do you attribute the success and longevity of your relationships and how does the audio obsession play into that dynamic? And to those who actually have faced a divorce or breakup because of audio; how do you see the relationship between the two?

Marco
"...to what do you attribute the success and longevity of your relationships and how does the audio obsession play into that dynamic?"

I try to focus the attention on the music and involve my wife in listening together at every opportunity. There is nothing more enjoyable than listening to music we both enjoy, even if we aren't verbally communicating.

As to the equipment, ah, em...never mind that man behind the curtain.
My wife loves tube electronics and we listen to music together. She cares nothing about the equipment as such, but loves the music.
I make them sign a pre nup so replacing the wife doesn`t exceed gear replacement. Been to the altar 3x, & a 4th might be in my future.
Hubby and I have been married over 26 years, and we married after a whirlwind, 6-month courtship. We just knew we were "soulmates"...I knew on our first date that he was the one. Immediately following that date, I called my best friend and said, "I've met the man I am going to spend the rest of my life with." God has blessed us, and I couldn't ask for a more loving partner. He even tolerates this audio obsession of mine, and finally just told me to quit telling him how much each item cost. So I did. :-)
My wife & I have been married for 27 years & I have known her for 37 years. Music has been a hobby of ours before we were ever married. She doesn't follow the equipment side like I do, but she wants it to sound good & has a very keen ear to the changes we make from time to time. She also knows I have an audio obsession ,(er') addiction to this crazy hobby. I can do what I please as long as the bills get paid. God ! If she only knew!!!! I have been truely blessed.
God willing, we will grow old together listeng & enjoying music.
I was going to skip this post but I'm glad I read it. So far the vast majority here seem to have it together. My wife and I have been together for 25 yrs and it's better than ever. I see so many "divorce forces sale" items and that's only when they openly admit to the reason for the sale. People who have to have silver interconnects for their system while their wife wears a plastic watch and gets taken to the Sizzler for her birthday have things out of order IMO. I don't know how the audiophile pie graph would divide up between the neurotics, compulsives and true music lovers, I'm going to go kiss my wife and then turn my 10b on for a little music lovin. Note the order. :-)
...to what do you attribute the success and longevity of your relationships and how does the audio obsession play into that dynamic?
I would say we've lasted this long because we have a great deal in common and do a lot together, and we discovered this during our 4 years together before we married (we met in college). Alas, audio is NOT one of our common passions, but my wife knew this was mine before we married, and is very tolerant. She lets me put equipment of all manner, all over the house (we have a system in every room I can think of), and of course I make it up to her. She also has her own hobbies which I support.
Awesome post!! "Is your wife the best one??" I always wanted to ask that to all those best-seeking audiophiles.
Audiophiles tend to be better off than the rest of the population. I'm betting lower divorce rate. 10 years so far.
I’ve been married for 46 years! Happily married for 6 months... and just think I could have been out of prison by now... only kidding, couldn’t resist.

My wife tolerates my obsession since I had it before we met. I was making Heathkits back then and worked at Radio Shack!

I still have a difficult time sneaking my latest purchase into the household even after all these years.

But, if she didn’t restrain me, I know I would spend much more on my system/obsession.

ozzy
I had what I call a practice marriage for a short time in the early 80's.  I've been married 33 years.  Practice make perfect! 
I stopped getting married in the 80's and my divorce rate is zero since then.
For the hard core audiophile I think it depends on the room.

Shared music room  - will contribute to the chances of divorce. 

A dedicated music room (aka) panic room - could save your marriage. 
To get married don’t you have to go on dates first? 😬

sufentanil,

If it is not too personal, what made you pick that name?

Perhaps even more confusing is the avatar. 
Married once, approaching our 2 year anniversary. Together 5.

First time she came over to my place she asked, "why do you have a record collection, but no turntable, or speakers!?!?" I didn’t have a good answer, and that’s what got me going on this hobby.

Her only regret these days, is having brought up that question..


geoffkait,

There is an article on militarytimes.com that nicely links those two.
been married 46 years, to the same woman.

was into hifi when we got married, but kids and boats and family-focus put hifi to the side for for 20 years until the kids were gone. since 1994 i've been a serious audiophile, and it has worked for my marriage.

i've had audio club gatherings at my home a number of times; a few times guys have said to my wife how lucky your husband is to have such a supportive wife; her response is always "don't confuse support for understanding!"

she understands me. :-)
18yrs married.

Like the above post:
she understands me.
14 years + for me!

The only rules are that I have to make the system easy enough to use so that she can enjoy it if I am not around :)
Celebrating 45 years of marriage in May. My wife loves her pop music and keeps up with the latest musicians. I do not. Although I really like the new Nadia Reid LP Out Of My Province.
 Our musical tastes differ completely. She now takes photos of my equipment rack to make sure nothing new arrives. LOL.
 Have always had a good stereo, she puts up with me.
We are going on 40 years, I enjoy listening on my high-end system in the "man cave", my wife enjoys Spotify on her iPad in the living room, kitchen and garden, and I'm good with that!
I would guess perhaps a bit higher , enough have enough cash to interest women from the half for me and 5k a month for the kid brigade .
Five years here, still going.
In two week, my wife and I will have been married for 19 years. All of my audiophile friends have been married for a long time. The only ones not married are unfortunately widowers. A lot of my friends have gotten divorces over the years, just none of the audiophiles.
 USA stats show the group with highest divorce rate are Sailors in
the US  Navy !  Dad not home much.
In all branches a career is initial 4 years and 6 years after that.
Leave at 10 years ,
USAF 4%USMC 12%USA    17%USN    42%   - mom says it's the Navy or me .
Even though I'm divorced twice Being a Audiophile had nothing to do with it .LOL....
If being picky extends from your audio preferences to traits you want from a partner, then maybe...
sometimes divorce happens when you’re not picky enough
also, i think audiophiles are problem solvers as long as they don't buy snake oil they do well with other problem solvers not problem deniers.