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Forget the seven-year itch – it turns out that marriages are happier as the years go by.

There’s long been a belief that the longer you’ve been married, the higher your chances of something going wrong. You lose patience with each other, you want different things, you realise that you’ve become different people…the list goes on. However a recent study by scientists in the US proved otherwise, suggesting that couples who have been married for a longer period of time have more humour and understanding in their relationship The Daily Mail reports.

Getting Better With Age

The study found that the fighting typical of the early years of marriage, often as a result of children and financial strain, subsides as time goes by. As a couple age, they tend to see the humour in situations that may have caused petty arguments previously, challenging the stereotype of older married couples being set in their ways and simply coexisting. Tracking couples who had been married for between 15 and 35 years for a period of 13 years, the study found that positive behaviours such as affection and humour increased, while negative traits, such as defensiveness, decreased the longer a marriage continued.

Marriage Is Good For Mental Health

Study author Robert Levenson said, “Our findings shed light on one of the great paradoxes of late life. Despite experiencing the loss of friends and family, older people in stable marriages are relatively happy and experience low rates of depression and anxiety. Marriage has been good for their mental health.”

While the study only tracked heterosexual couples from the San Francisco Bay Area, who are now in their 70s and 80s, researchers are sure the findings would apply to most married couples.

These results provide behavioural evidence that is consistent with research suggesting that, as we age, we become more focused on the positives in our lives.”

Do you think marriages get better over time? Tell us in the comments below. 

  • I’m divorced so I can’t think so for me!

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  • I don’t know if this is true or not as many people do still break up down the track. I think it all depends on the individuals and their communication/commitment to each-other not how long they have been married but some of the points do make sense about things changing over time.

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  • I dont know if time matters or not because I know few couples who split after 10 and 14 years of marriage.

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  • I don’t think time really matters – I’ve known couples who have split after less than 12 months, but I have also known those that have lasted many years (ours included, 32 years and counting!!)

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  • No, not necessarily. An interesting read.

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  • I really hope this is true

    Reply

  • it depends on what and how your relation has been going. I’m happy :)

    Reply

  • I don’t think it’s true for everyone, but it seems to be the case for us after more then 30 years together. I think once the frenzied years of child rearing are done calm things down a lot

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  • Yes it gets easier with time 20 years together 11 years married definitely in the golden age now

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  • We’re currently at almost 5yrs and were happy

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  • Depends if you’re both willing to put in the work to accept each other’s floors or make some effort to help each other change a little. Communication and compromise needs to be there

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  • Every relationship is different so it will depend on the couple

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  • Interesting read, which may be true for some but not for all.
    My husband and I never had many fights or argument if at all and always had humour & affection. However when I look to my parents I can see this article is really true.

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  • Not so sure about this finding, 40 years down the track and there are still times I would love to murder my husband. Also wonder what if I had gone with the other one. But then I have 6 living children and a beautiful grand daughter to show for it.

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  • Load of garbage, a happy marriage is about respect and tolerance and trust, time has nothing to do with it

    Reply

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