Fiction and even our own friends on Facebook would have us believe that the first year of marriage is the best. That everything is perfectly buoyant when you're wearing those post-"I do" rose-colored glasses, in that blissful post-honeymoon bubble. But as it turns out -- well, at least according to a new "study" by U.K. law firm Slater & Gordon -- married couples are actually happiest in their third year of marriage! Ha, go figure!
Sure, this finding may not be the most scientific, but they definitely seem to be onto something ...
After polling 2,000 people, researchers determined that the first year was all about post-wedding exhilaration (or comedown!), and the second year was about "getting to know one another" (um, not so sure about that, given how often couples live together first these days, but okay ...). But the third year of marriage marked the point when couples "begin to settle into a comfortable co-existence, having come to terms with each other's imperfections," the Telegraph explains. Plus, it's when many couples start to plan on having kids ... and they're also more used to sharing finances by that point. Makes sense!
I wouldn't doubt that for most couples, there are always some changes or challenges you face after the Big Day that can throw a wrench in your happiness that first year. Unfortunately, a lot of couples are ill-prepared for the reality check of marriage being hard work after the big fantasy wedding. And take it from this newlywed - even being together for years can't prevent you from occasionally struggling as a married couple with issues you may not always see eye-to-eye on -- be it money, household chores, sex, work, health, etc.
However, once you hit the third year of your marriage, like juniors in high school, you finally fall into a happy rhythm! Maybe you get a better grasp of where you can agree to disagree and where you need to compromise. Awesome! Too bad researchers then dangle the threat of the fifth year of marriage -- what they say is often difficult due to "tiredness, increased workloads, and for some couples, children." Eeek! Yeah, I buy that.
But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? Researchers found that most couples who successfully made it through the first seven years of marriage were more likely to have a long, happy, and lasting union. Ah, so all you need to do is hit your seventh anniversary, and you'll be maaaade in the shade! Okay, probably not quite. But it is reassuring to know that getting through the hardest parts could lead to even more amazing ones.
What do you think about these findings?
What would you guess is the happiest year of marriage -- or what was your own so far?