Faced with a divorce rate of about 40 percent, Norway is turning to an unlikely source to help keep couples hitched: Steve Carell and Tina Fey's 2010 flick, “Date Night.”
Solveig Horne, the country's new minister for children, equality and social inclusion and a divorcee herself, told a Norwegian newspaper that she's encouraging couples to go on dates in order to rekindle the romance, a strategy inspired by Carell and Fey’s movie.
She explained, “I saw the movie Date Night where an American couple try to go out to keep their relationship alive. In the film, everything goes wrong –- but I thought it was a good idea.”
Before you laugh, there may be some genius to her plan. In 2012, the National Marriage Project released a study that claimed married couples who actively kept "dating" were 3.5 times more likely to say they were “very happy” in their marriage. The study also found that women who went on weekly dates with their husbands experienced a higher rate of sexual satisfaction.
Science agrees. According to a New York Times report (based off a study done by social psychologist Arthur Aron), new experiences like weekly date nights flood the human brain with dopamine and norepinephrine –- the same happy chemicals released when couples first fall in love.
In other words, dating while married can bring back those long-forgotten, butterflies-in-the-stomach-can’t-wait-to-see-you-feelings couples often lose after years of commitment.
Added bonus: it’s a whole lot cheaper than couples therapy.
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QUESTION: In 2010, which country's divorce rate rose for the first time in almost a decade?
<strong>a) Canada b) Italy c) Thailand d) The UK </strong>
ANSWER: The UK
In 2010, there were 119,589 divorces in England and Wales, an increase of 5 percent from the previous year, <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/relationships/divorce/8942912/Divorces-rise-for-first-time-since-2003.html" target="_hplink">the <em>Telegraph </em>reported</a>. The jump, which some experts suggested <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/relationships/divorce/8942912/Divorces-rise-for-first-time-since-2003.html" target="_hplink">was an effect of the 2008-2009 recession</a>, marked the first time that the divorce rate had risen in almost a decade.
QUESTION: Three of 10 divorces in this European country were said to be the product of men exhibiting "unusually close attachment" to their mothers.
<strong>a) France b) Italy c) Spain d) Germany </strong>
In 2006, the <em>Guardian</em> reported on a poll that suggested <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/nov/12/italy.barbaramcmahon" target="_hplink">three out of 10 marriages in Italy failed</a> due to the unusually close attachment some Italian men had to their their mothers. "In Italy there still exists a sort of mother love that is excessive," psychologist Dr. Annamaria Cassanese told the paper. "For example, you will see mothers crying at the weddings of their sons, but they are not crying for joy, they are crying because they feel devastated."
QUESTION: What Asian country's post office offered newlyweds a chance to write love letters to each other that would be sent seven years later, as a way to counter the rising divorce rate?
<strong>a) China b) Vietnam c) South Korea d) Singapore </strong>
In 2011, the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-15536464" target="_hplink">BBC reported</a> that China's state-run post-office had begun offering couples a service where love letters they wrote to each other at the time would be sent seven years into their marriages. With the country's divorce rate on the rise, the thought was that the love notes would stave off splits, reminding potentially divorcing couples why they got together in the first place.
QUESTION: When the divorce rate among retirees soared in this country in the 2000s, experts blamed "retired husband syndrome."
<strong>a) Croatia b) Japan c) Cuba d) South Africa </strong>
Between 1985 and 2000, the divorce rate among Japanese couples married for 20 years <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/AmericanFamily/story?id=1491039" target="_hplink">doubled and then some, ABC News reported in 2006</a>. <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4741018.stm" target="_hplink">According to the BBC</a>, experts blamed "retired husband syndrome," explaining that many "salarymen" (who had lived elsewhere for work) came home to find that they barely knew their spouses.
QUESTION: A 2011 study showed that 48 percent of parents in this country had split by their children's 16th birthdays.
<strong>a) Sweden b) The UK c) Australia d) Argentina </strong>
ANSWER: The UK
A 2011 Centre for Social Justice study showed that <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377940/Half-parents-split-16-births-outside-marriage-hit-highest-level-200-years.html#ixzz1wOdPJZTo" target="_hplink">48 percent of children in the UK</a> were likely to see their parents split before they reached 16. Ten years prior, the rate was 40 percent.
QUESTION: Which country has the highest divorce rate in the world?
<strong>a) Austria b) Brazil c) Russia d) Philippines </strong>
Russia, the largest country in the world, lives up to its size <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/21/highest-divorce-rates-in-_n_798550.html#s211130&title=Russia" target="_hplink">by boasting the highest known divorce rate</a> -- 5 divorces per 1000 people, according to the 2010 United Nations Demographic Yearbook.