Tag Archives: married the wrong person

What is the Happiest Year of Your Marriage?

DSC06526 I sincerely hope that the happiest year of your marriage is THIS year, but a recent British survey* of 2,000 married people suggests that year three was the happiest year in their marriage.

In the study, the first year of marriage followed year three as the next happiest, with the couple basking in the newlywed glow, while year two was spent getting to know one another better. The study suggests year three marks the success of learning to deal with one another’s imperfections, as well as some occasional doubts. By year three, discussions of having children often occur, helping to solidify the relationship.

What was the toughest year in their marriage? According to the study, the fifth year was the most difficult due to feelings of exhaustion, financial worries, stress of caring for children, and conflict over division of work/chores.

The good news is that the couples who continued to work on the marriage found year seven to be the point at which, when obstacles are overcome—such as unbalanced sex drives, different hobbies or social preferences—it paves the way for a long-term and happy marriage. Half of respondents say their wedding day was the happiest day of their life.

All that being said, the data should not be seen as exactly relating to every marriage, but rather a trend. Frequently, it appears, once we settle into marriage and get to know one another, marriage can be blissfully happy (yay!). Then, when differing expectations, family demands and workloads collide with the romantic side of the relationship, it takes some effort to overcome problems and remain committed. Marriage has ups and downs, and often after going through troubled times or crises, couples gain a stronger bond.

For couples who decide they “Married the Wrong Person” and move on to someone new, they may become blissfully happy for another very brief period, but they will end up in the same place a few years down the road with a new person. However, for the majority of couples who get past this stage, marriage can become a long and happy union.

Whatever stage you are in, work to stick together. We may blame our spouse for stress that is external to the relationship. Instead of thinking your spouse has changed, realize your situation may be very different from the days of dating. Work to keep communication open and positive.

So, what was your happiest year of marriage, and what was your toughest period to get through?

*The study was commissioned by Slater & Gordon, a UK-based law firm.
Photo courtesy of morguefile.com.

Lori Lowe is the author of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. It tells the inspiring, true stories of couples who used adversity to improve their marriages–from overcoming drug addiction to cancer, infidelity, religious differences, family interference and infertility, among many others. It’s available at Amazon.com and in various e-book formats here.

More on Marrying the Wrong Person

“I have no way of knowing whether or not you married the wrong person. But I do know that if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up having married the right person after all. It is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person.” — author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar

This quote summarizes the discussion we’ve been having about marrying the wrong person. My post last Friday, “We all married the wrong person” has generated an overwhelming response, with more than 40,000 visits and 400 comments in a few days. My interview with Dr. Haltzman has created a large, international discussion about what marriage is and what it could be. Clearly, there is much debate about whether marriage and love are about choice and commitment, about passion and feelings, about finding a compatible person—or, whether it’s even possible to have a “happy marriage.”

Despite the provocative title, I believe I married the right person for me. And my husband of 15 years claims to agree that he married the right person for him. The point of the post, though, is that there are days or periods of time when couples are stressed, grouchy, sick, lazy, difficult, you-name-it. We’re human, and we require grace. During those times, we have all surely wondered what it would be like to be married to someone who is more upbeat, more affectionate, more positive, more beautiful, more of whatever we want that day.

Because my husband and I are motivated to love one another and to be self-sacrificial in our love when necessary, we have maintained a strong marriage. We are not perfect, and we don’t know any couples in perfect marriages. But we are happy and committed to one another and to our children.

I concede there are individuals who are narcissistic, abusive or unable to participate in a healthy marriage. I also understand that in rare cases, one does not know these qualities until after marriage. These occurrences should be extremely rare if the partner has done due diligence, participated in premarital counseling and gotten to know the person as well as possible prior to marriage. As Dr. Haltzman said, abuse of any type should not be tolerated.

However, the vast majority of divorces in the U.S. are in low-conflict marriages that have the capacity to be restored, according to large quantities of expert research I have read. What individuals in these marriages in crisis need most is hope. There is hope. You may be thinking you are beyond hope.

I’ve spent the last two years interviewing couples who overcame extreme marital adversity—from losing a child to experiencing long separations for military service, from  infertility to infidelity, from overcoming drug abuse to overcoming life-threatening illnesses and accidents, from dealing with stranger rape to dealing with families who don’t support the marriage. I’ve talked to a strong Christian who at long last created a happy marriage with her unbelieving spouse, and I interviewed couples who experienced financial hardship, including living through The Great Depression. Many of these couples had lost hope at one point or another, but they all found it—and found a way to not just stick it out, but to find lasting happiness and joy. (How they achieved this will be described in my book, but I provide insight from these interviews in this blog.)

If you are a new reader to my blog, I want to welcome you into the discussion, no matter what your views are. Here are a few posts to give you food for thought:

Is love a decision or a feeling?

Read this if you EVER have conflict in your marriage

Stay self-focused to repair marital problems

For a happier marriage, date your spouse

Happy marriages are not carefree

What’s a pro-marriage counselor and how do you find one?

If you’d like to be updated on new research-based marriage tips, please sign up for updates on the right side of the home page. Your email address will never be shared, and you can opt out at any time. Find me on Twitter @LoriLowe. You are also welcome to download the free e-book I wrote with some other marriage writers. Thanks for dropping by, and come back soon.

Lori Lowe’s book First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage is now available on Amazon.com and in all e-book formats at www.LoriDLowe.com.  Lori and her husband of 16 years live in Indianapolis with their two children.

Photo Credit: ©PhotoXpress.com