Happiest Time in Marriage

October 30, 2023

People often say to me, “I don’t know how you guys at The Marriage Hub do it, working with all those couples who are struggling“. I can appreciate their perspective because we all hear that 40-50% of first time marriages will fail and that can be discouraging. But hey, there’s another side of that coin that says 50-60% of first time marriages will succeed. And that’s something we need to celebrate. You know, our own Penn State University did some research that tells us that the happiest point in a couple’s marriage comes at the 20 year mark. They discovered that marital happiness increases among spouses who are experiencing stable marriages, not perfect ones, but stable ones, and that husbands seem to experience more happiness as the relationship matures. Now, I think that’s because we, as husbands, have completed most of the changing that our wives have wanted out of us. So for all of you couples out there who are on the road towards 20 years, take hope that your perseverance is going to produce some fruit. Just like Paul said in Galatians,”Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for after a time there will be a harvest of blessing.” But Penn State’s research involved 2000 couples and found that the more shared activities the couples participated in, the greater their happiness. While that’s not surprising, it’s a powerful reminder that when we do things together, we’re strengthening our marriage. And when we do more things apart, we weaken it. In fact, the study clearly equates the lack of shared activities to an increase in marital discord and ultimately divorce. So if you want to be one of those couples who is experiencing a happier marriage, take some time to sit down together and evaluate your together time.  Plan some date nights or projects you can do together around the house or church. Schedule fitness or recreational activities. Look for some more ways that you might begin to spend some more time together. The more years you do life together as a couple, the more experiences you share. And those cumulative experiences will deepen your levels of closeness, appreciation for each other and ultimately they will increase your marital contentment. The research concluded with a positive takeaway…”Although divorce is common these days, about half of all marriages last a lifetime, and the long term outlook for most of these marriages is upbeat, with happiness and interaction remaining high and discord declining.” Now, that’s the good news that we’re working for!

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