Many New York couples are familiar with the idea that marriage begins full of enthusiasm and happiness and then those feelings slowly decline over the years as the honeymoon effect ends. Research suggests, though, that marital satisfaction can last many years after the couple exchange vows.
Studies that have been done on marital satisfaction are usually conducted with middle-class, predominantly white couples. A recent study performed by researchers at the University of Georgia and University of Texas looked at how socioeconomic status and marital satisfaction were connected. Their study involved more than 400 couples in lower-income neighborhoods. The couples involved were contacted multiple times over many years and were asked to respond to questions that measured their marital satisfaction.
The couples were divided into three groups. These included high, moderate, and low marital satisfaction groups. Researchers found that marital satisfaction was stable in couples who had shown high or moderate initial levels of satisfaction in marriage as multiple years went by. The least satisfied group were individuals who showed low satisfaction initially in marriage. The study showed that wives who had exhibited low levels of satisfaction initially in marriage were the most likely to experience the sharpest decline in satisfaction throughout the years.
The researchers concluded that most spouses who had initial high levels of satisfaction in marriage maintained those high levels of satisfaction despite being at an economic disadvantage. The honeymoon phase was long over, but the satisfaction rate was still pretty high.
Individuals who experience low levels of satisfaction in marriage often turn to divorce as a solution. An individual who is considering divorce may wish to speak with a family law attorney. The attorney may be able to represent their client in divorce proceedings, draw up documents and visitation schedules when child custody is involved, or facilitate mediation to resolve disputes.