The U-curve of marital satisfaction

There are several studies done over many years which confirm the decline in marital quality and/or satisfaction. The sharpest decline is during the first ten years. There is of course the “highs” of the “honeymoon” years, then the sharp drop in the middle years and then once more an increase in the post-parental years. This is known as the U-curve of marital satisfaction.

The annualized divorce rate also reflects this trend in marital quality, particularly during the first decade. Although 50% of marriages end by the 7th year, there is an increase in quality for couples beyond 25 years of marriage. The divorce rate reduces to 10% for 20-year marriages, and to a miniscule 1-2% of marriages in which the spouses are over 65 years old. The mean level of marital satisfaction at 35-44 years of marriage reached a level higher than that attained during the first four years of marriage.

(Sara Martin English)

Couples who actually make it, are usually quite aware of the power of having a lasting relationship … and they know how to deal with change!

Relationships change over time as both partners mature and develop as individuals. This means that all couples go through difficult phases as they adjust to the newly emerged characteristics of themselves, their partner and the constant changing situations of life!


A message from Dr Tienie Maritz

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