How soon is “too soon” to decide that you’ve made a mistake with your marriage? Apparently, there’s really no such thing as “too soon” when it comes to matters of the heart. In fact, the majority of couples have a pretty good idea about whether their marriage is healthy from the very start — even before the honeymoon phase is over.
The typical picture of matrimony has always been a little grim. It’s generally been anticipated that a couple will rush into each other’s arms with great initial joy. Then, as time passes and the bloom of the new relationship fades, a couple’s overall satisfaction with their marriage is expected to fade quite a bit — even if the couple stays together out of a sort of dull contentment with their situation.
Except research doesn’t bear out this idea. Not only do many married couples (around 60%) start their relationship highly satisfied with each other, those couples tend to remain largely satisfied over time. Roughly 30% of couples start their marriage only moderately satisfied with the relationship, while 10% of couples aren’t particularly happy with their marriages even in the beginning. As it turns out, the lower your initial level of satisfaction in a marriage at the start, the lower it’s likely to continue being — especially among those in that bottom 10%.
What does this mean, in practical terms? The odds are good that you have a fairly clear sense about your marriage’s longevity from the very start. If you aren’t happy with the relationship, you probably can’t expect it to evolve into something better.
While nobody ever really wants to think about divorce, it really can be a fresh start for both parties — and is often the best solution once a couple realizes that they’re simply not compatible over the long run.