You thought it was the honeymoon and the first five years, right? According to in-depth research, that is not true. The findings are in keeping with a 2012 study, which found that couples who were in their first year of marriage were unhappier than those who had been together for over 40 years, a phenomenon that researchers attributed to the “marriage hangover,” a term for the moment that all of the festivities are over and the work really begins.
It seems to be everywhere, people just splitting after only a short time of marriage but actually, divorces have been declining since 1980. According to the news, it’s been a tough year for love. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum recently announced they were separating amid clear signs of strife. And, more recently, Chris Pratt opened up about his shocking 2017 split from Anna Faris, summing up the pain of divorce proceedings with the phrase, “Divorce [stinks].” Did they bail too quickly? Perhaps our parents had it right and our current culture of bailing when we no longer feel butterflies isn’t really conducive to lasting bliss. Whatever happened to the words said in the marriage vows, “til death us do part?” Is commitment a thing of the past? Does it only last as long as it feels good?
Paul Amato of Pennsylvania State University and Spencer James of Brigham Young University examined six waves of data from the Marital Instability Over the Life Course study, which includes information on 2,034 married people with an average of 35 for women and 37 for men, to determine the curve of marital satisfaction over time. Researchers found that while happiness in a marriage did decline for the first 20 years, it stabilized after that point. The reason, according to the study, is thanks to the fact that couples tended to engage in more shared activities during this period in their marriage, and had developed deeper levels of appreciation for one another than the hormonal bliss they experienced during their newlywed phase.
“Marital happiness does not decline, on average, among spouses in stable marriages,” the study authors wrote. “Indeed, our results suggest that marital happiness increases slightly in the later years of marriage, especially for husbands.” The research also indicates that if you don’t want to split up, it’s crucial to do stuff together, whether it’s cooking, going for long walks, or even exercising.
If you really want your marriage to last, it takes work, communication, trust, and commitment. Hugh Jackman credits the agreement that he has with his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, to never work when the other person is working as the secret to their 22-year-marriage. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, for what it’s worth, share a similar pact.
According to one All Pro Dad, there are things to remember before ending your marriage:
- Easy was not part of the agreement. All marriage vows assume difficulty, sickness, tough times, financial hardship, and times of challenge. So where’s the glory in giving up just because the infatuation is gone and you both grew into cynical versions of the couple who fell in love all those years ago? Working hard is better than divorce because working hard is what you promised to do when you took those vows before God, your family, your friends, your community…and your future children.
- Everything in life improves when we work at it: Most problems turn into opportunities for growth when we work hard at solutions.
- Hard work that brings results is always satisfying: Identifying where we need to change and grow, and then doing something about it, is deeply satisfying.
- Even costly counseling is cheaper than divorce: Make marriage your number one investment in time and money and reap the rewards – spiritually, socially, and financially.
There is absolutely nothing more beautiful than an elderly couple who are still in love. Knowing the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side and sticking it out thru thick and thin may prove to be our answer to wedded bliss. Like any relationship, tough times should make a married couple closer. Before you throw in the towel, remember this could be the time that you learn how to grow your marriage into one that’s lasting. Huddle up with your mate tonight and say: “I know we are going through a tough time in our marriage right now. Or that we will soon. I want you to know I am committed to working hard at it to get us to a much better place.”
This may be why so many couples who divorced got back together. They realized they had lost more than they would ever gain elsewhere.
Ref. bestlifeonline.com, MSN/lifestyle.com, link.springer.com, allprodad.com
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