*This* Is the Milestone Year That Couples Are Happiest in Their Relationship

happy couple in a relationship in kitchen

If the movie industry and your Great Aunt Janet are to be believed, nothing beats that first year of marital bliss, and the seven-year itch isn’t just a theory—it’s a scientific certainty. But according to a new study published in Social Networks and the Life Course, couples actually reach peak happiness after both of these relationship milestones, around the 20-year mark.

Researchers from Pennsylvania State and Brigham Young universities examined data from another study, titled Marital Instability Over the Life Course, which included information about the marriages of over 2,000 couples. What they found was that although marital satisfaction declines slightly in the first 20 years, it then increases. In fact, those who make it to 20 years of married life actually report feeling as happy as (or even happier than) when they were newlyweds. Wowza. 

“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,” the researchers said.

The team believes that couples develop “deeper levels of appreciation, closeness and contentment” over time.

So there you have it. You may hit some rough patches in the first 20 years, but the best is yet to come, apparently. Now, there’s something to keep in mind the next time that your in-laws are driving you crazy.

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...