Does the honeymoon period last a month? A year? Five years? In short, it depends. In fact, Kira Birditt, an assistant research professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, found that although the conventional wisdom is that all marriages decline in happiness over time, that's not true. In studying 373 newlywed couples in the Detroit area, 174 white and 199 black, she found that declines in happiness occur only in some couples. In this article from USA Today, they note how stress can be a major contributing factor toward marital happiness, although stress doesn't spell inevitable doom. In and eHarmony study, of 602 newlyweds in Southern California, 39% reported at least one area of high chronic stress (lasts over a period of time) during the first year of marriage. The stress comes from in-laws, work and finances. Their research found that relationship satisfaction dropped 61% faster for those under high chronic stress who had unsupportive partners than for those with low stress and high support. In a good sign, those with high chronic stress, a supportive partner made the stressful effect disappear.
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