By Lindsay Dodgson
It’s baffling for some people to imagine choosing one person to spend the rest of your life with. People change over time, and there’s no guarantee you’ll grow in the right direction.
But despite being a rollercoaster, the happiest point in a couple’s marriage has been shown to be later than you might expect.
A study, published in the journal Social Networks and the Life Course, found that couples were happiest when they reached the 20 year mark — their China anniversary.
Researchers from the Pennsylvania State and Brigham Young Universities analysed the marriages of 2,034 couples, with an average age of 35-37, and how their satisfaction changed over the years.
The “seven-year itch” is commonly reported in marriages, but if the results of the study are correct, sticking it out could mean you’re happier in the long run.
The study found that married couples who last 20 years spend more time doing activities together than those in the honeymoon period. Also, over time, they develop “deeper levels of appreciation” for each other.
It’s not always an easy road, though. The results also found that happiness slowly declines up to the 20 year point, before picking up once you get over the hump.
“Although divorce is common these days, about half of all marriages last a lifetime,” said the researchers. “And the long-term outlook for most of these marriages is upbeat, with happiness and interaction remaining high, and discord declining.”
Although the honeymoon period — the first year of a relationship — is usually the most passionate, the best part of a relationship might be worth waiting for. According to some research, couples have their best sex lives together after 15 years.
However, one study, published in The Journal of Sex Research, found that women may be the most likely to cheat on their partners between six and 10 years of marriage — so to get to the best part, you might have to work hard.
Originally published at www.businessinsider.com
More from Business Insider: