A major new Australian study has some clues on how to best have a happy relationship, although unfortunately some of the pitfalls are unavoidable: ageing, for example, and the passage of time – people are generally happier during the first few years of a relationship.
The study surveyed thousands of men and women, both married and in de facto relationships (together and committed, but not married), following couples over 10 years. Some of the findings, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, are obvious: the single biggest contributing factor towards separation is domestic violence, followed by a partner experiencing mental-health problems.
Other reasons that contribute to relationship breakdowns would perhaps seem to be smaller. Non-smokers are seriously irked by smokers and a difference in attitude there can have pretty catastrophic effects for couples. Perhaps, surprisingly, alcohol consumption, and one partner drinking more than another, did not affect relationships.
Age gaps, especially when the woman is older, also contribute to unhappiness in relationships. Children are a “risk factor” for relationships too, with both men and women reporting increased dissatisfaction after having children.
Unmarried people are more likely to report greater satisfaction in their relationship than married people, but statistically they are also more likely to separate.
The Sydney Morning Herald via Jezebel