Surely you’ve heard the expression, “The honeymoon is over”, which is meant to mean that the fun easy part of a relationship has passed and now it’s time to buckle up for a bumpy ride. But why we seem to believe that the honeymoon period, typically considered to be first year of marriage, is so wonderful is a mystery. In reality, many newly married couples think their marriage was a mistake or that their marriage is over almost before it’s begun.
A recent study conducted in Australia showed that people in their first year of marriage are actually less happy than the general public or even people in their second year of marriage. The study was reported on by the Sydney Morning Herald on their website and it’s something that all newly married and soon-to-be married couples should take a look at.
The study was conducted by Deakin University’s Australian Centre on Quality of Life, and it measured the happiness of 2000 people on a scale of 0-100. The average score for the Australian population was 75 but those couples in the first year of marriage scored an average rating of 73.9. People who have been married for forty years or more had a happiness score of 79.8.
The study’s leader, Dr. Melissa Weinberg, said she was surprised by the findings.
It’s a little unexpected because the perception is that newlywed couples should be the happiest but in reality that’s not the case,” she said.
Relationship counselor John Aiken offered his reasoning for this.
Often when couples are getting married they set aside some major issues in their relationship to focus on the special day,” he said. “They get so swept up in the excitement of the wedding day, it’s hard to adjust to the normal humdrum life which follows. It’s the post-wedding blues.”
This is part of the problem, to be sure.
But another cause for first-year unhappiness is simply adjusting to a major upheaval in your life. You’d give yourself a year to adjust to being in the military, changing careers or moving to a foreign country, but are you giving yourself that much time to adjust to being married?
If you’re having a rough first year, you’re in good company. So did those people who have been married forty years. The honeymoon period isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, but marriage is. So hang in there, remember that all of this is normal and understand that as long as you’re working together, each year will get better and better.