Relationships have lots of ups and downs, but new research shows things tend to settle down after a while. According to a new study, happiness fluctuates and may even decline during the first 20 years of marriage, but after that point, it’s a walk in the park.
Researchers analyzed long-term trends related to marital happiness, shared activities, and conflict between couples. They found that during the first 20 years of a marriage, happiness gradually decreased over time, but stabilized around the 20th year. They saw that couples tend to do fewer activities together during the first two decades, but started doing more things together after 20 years of being married.
And maybe the best part of the research: disagreements steadily declined over time. So couples that can make it past 20 years can look forward to fighting less. Of course, not all relationships are built to last, but researchers found the couples who stay together are happy in the long run.
"Our results suggest that marriages that remain together show little evidence of deterioration in relationship quality over the marital life course," researchers Paul R. Amato and Spencer L. James write. So stick it out through the tough times to be happy together in the end.