What’s the secret to a happy marriage? Surviving the first 20 years, study says
If you thought the ‘honeymoon period’ was the best time in a marriage, you’d be wrong.
New US research says happiness generally increases for couples after their 20-year anniversary – and only gets higher in the later years of marriage.
The researchers looked at data from over 2,000 couples and found that happiness levels stayed around the same in couples whose marriages went the distance – and even went up after 20 years.
It’s backed by other studies that showed married couples were at their happiest 40 years after getting hitched.
Happily ever after?
The researchers say 20 years provides couples with opportunities to experience deeper levels of “appreciation, closeness and contentment” (we’re guessing this means you’ve sorted out who does the dishes and takes the rubbish out).
It’s also the time that couples’ shared participation in activities begins to increase (we’d add that it also helps if the kids have grown up and moved out).
The researchers did say the data was collected between 1980 and 2000 – so may not apply to more recent marriages.
And 20 years is not a ‘magic number’ of course, as there are other things that will have an effect on a relationship.
But it seems for many marriages, the best is still yet to come (and we don’t just mean getting the kids out the door!)