Most people, especially females, our age are highly concerned about marriage at this time in life. As I walk across campus, I hear students talk about wanting to be married by “this date”, at “this location”, with “this, that, and the other” thing. They then proceed to mention the fact that they are not even in a relationship currently… We are not only preoccupied with getting married, but also for having a satisfying marriage that does not end down the dreaded path of divorce.
In one of the recorded lectures we reviewed, it mentioned some marriage facts and stats, which intrigued me. I felt like it would be the perfect topic to write about considering how relevant it is to students our age.
I was personally surprised to learn that marriage was one of the three most important sources of happiness in Americans twenty-one years and older. Although marriage was a source of happiness and satisfaction, it comes with limits. There were admissions to problems with marriage, as is typical. Even though women were more likely to admit to problems, men did admit to them, just fewer. Ironically, younger women ages twenty-one to thirty-four admitted it the most. They also had the highest divorce rates. To think, the very group that we think of as desiring marriage the most, has the worst problems surrounding it.
While younger women tend to admit to the most problems, women are most satisfied as newlyweds. This happiness tends to drop and continue to do so until children are out of the home. After the children leave, the happiness increases again as the couple ages together. They are often happy to have some alone time and are appreciative that their partner is still alive.
Below are some pieces of advice I have collected for ways to have high marriage satisfaction:
“Be VERY married!”
“Give your spouse the very best of yourself, not what’s left over after you have given your best to everyone else.”
“Show some PDA occasionally.”
“Ask, don’t tell.”
“Prioritize your partner.”
“Always answer the phone.”
“Marriage should be 100-100, not 50-50.”
“Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy.”
Marriages around the world see a U-shaped graph in terms of satisfaction throughout life. It is not only specific to the United States. That is, if it is a marriage by choice. Many non-western countries have a practice of arranged marriage. In these cases, satisfaction is much lower during the initial stages due to unhappiness stemming from a lack of choice regarding their partner. It increases slightly as the couple ages and becomes more content in dealing with each other.