There’s long been a perception that every marriage starts with a “honeymoon” phase where everything is golden — which eventually (and inevitably) fades over time.
But is that true? And what causes the dissatisfaction? Here’s what researchers found:
1. How you start a marriage often dictates your long-term success.
The happier a person is following marriage, the more likely that they’ll continue to be happy with their relationship in the future. Roughly 60% of couples studied had high levels of marital satisfaction when they started, while 30% were only moderately satisfied. The remaining 10% were not particularly satisfied with their marriages even early on. Of those groups, those with high or moderate levels of marital satisfaction tended to stay roughly in those same categories over time.
Those who were least satisfied with marriage in its honeymoon phase did not. Their level of overall satisfaction, already pretty dismal, dropped considerably further as the marriage wore on. This indicates that many people know fairly quickly when they’ve made a bad match.
2. Your financial status may not actually predict problems.
The link between marital discord and money isn’t quite so clear. Couples with shaky finances aren’t necessarily destined to be unhappy — nor are those couples on solid financial footing destined to marital bliss. There are, however, indications that socioeconomic stress can decrease the marital satisfaction of wives more than husbands, particularly among those in the lowest economic classes.
Overall, financial instability was found to be less of a factor in marital discord than one’s initial level of satisfaction. Money problems may get a bad rap when it comes to causing divorces.
If you’ve been doubtful from the start that your marriage will work, it may be time to move on. Find out more about your divorce options today.