What are the hardest years of marriage? Is this rough patch you’re in normal? You may be wondering if this is just one of those times that all couples eventually go through. Are certain years of the marriage harder than the rest? Are the problems in your marriage natural or should you be doing something about them?
Generally, the first few years of marriage are tougher than the rest. The hardest part seems to be the first couple of years, especially for people who are getting married for the first time. After that, years 5-7 are when the most amount of divorces happen. That said, it is easily possible for love to prevail and for you and your spouse to get through any problems that you are having.
We will be going through some of the years that are statistically most likely to cause problems in your marriage. However, not all is gloomy. We will also take a look at how you can get through those years. Towards the end, we will end on a positive note by taking a look at some of the better years of marriage.
The Hardest Years of Marriage Are The First Few
Note: I’m obviously going to have to go on generalizations and statistics here. If you haven’t already, make sure you take the marriage assessment quiz. That way we can focus on your marriage and how to keep it strong and healthy.
Based on all statistics, as well as my personal experience, the first 8 or so years seem to be the most difficult for a modern marriage.
The first year is particularly the most difficult. This is even more true if this is the first time you and your spouse have married. Another factor that makes marriage more difficult at the start is if both the husband and the wife are relatively young (around 25 or less).
Since both the husband and the wife are new to being married, they are liable to make mistakes. They have probably also lived independent lives so far. After marriage, the adjustment of living with and caring for another person 24 hours a day can be a bit difficult.
For those who are a bit more mature or those who have been married before, the first year may not be as difficult. You already have a decent idea of what to expect, and you know what not to do if your previous marriage failed. Use your accumulated wisdom to build a bond that could last for the rest of your life.
Use Your Passion to Guide You
If you are young and recently married, chances are that you still have a lot of passion for one another. Sex is usually great for at least the first few years of the marriage. Not only that, but both of you are bustling with energy. Add to that the fact that most couples do not have kids a few years means that they have a lot of free time.
You can use this energy and passion to tide yourself over the initial problems. No matter how long you dated, chances are that you do not completely know each other yet. There is no reason to stop going on dates once you are married. Continue to find new things to do together and keep the spark alive.
Remember that if you love each other, it is possible to get through any problem. That is essentially what marriage is. Instead of having to go through the bad times alone, you can now do it together. Open discussions about your life and where the two of you see yourself in a few years are a great way to grow your bond.
When do People Cheat in a Marriage?
This is a very difficult question to answer. Of course, none of you would cheat on the other in a perfect scenario. However, there are a few statistics to keep in mind. The chances of a man or woman cheating on their spouse do not depend on how long they have been married but on their age.
In their early 20s, women are slightly more likely to cheat on their husbands than their husbands on them. However, the likelihood of men cheating on their wives increases as their age increases. Simultaneously, the likelihood of women cheating on their husbands decreases.
Remember that for many couples, cheating is not the end of a marriage. While cheating should never be considered acceptable, it must be understood that people make mistakes. As such, it is possible (and even likely) that one of you will cheat on the other during your time together. If that happens, it is important that you think long and hard about what you want to do before making a rash decision.
What Year of Marriage is Divorce Most Common?
When people ask what are the hardest years of marriage this is often on the back of their minds. This is once again not set in stone. However, there are two periods when divorce is more common than others. Let’s take a look at both and explore why this happens.
The First Year
For the reasons mentioned above, the first year of marriage is one of the hardest. Many times, people get married mainly because they are physically attracted to one another. This physical attraction makes them overlook how incompatible they are. Only after they are married do they realize how they have absolutely nothing in common.
Simple advice for avoiding trouble like this is to seek a partner with whom you share similar values. While having common interests with your spouse may seem ideal, it is possible to build common interests together. However, if the two of you have incompatible goals (e.g. the husband is only concerned with how much money he makes, or the wife only concerned with their social standing and vice versa), things will always be difficult for you.
Usually, the first few months of marriage are smooth sailing. Once the honeymoon phase ends, that is when problems begin to arise. Couples begin to fight, often endlessly. Within a year, they are unable to agree on anything. This is when one of them first begins to think about divorce. From then on, the house of cards begins to tumble and nothing can stop it!
Years Five to Eight
This is where the vast majority of the divorces happen, even more so than the first year. There is a multitude of reasons why, such as:
- The initial passion and attraction have died out by this time. As such, the marriage is now based more upon companionship and values more than anything else. Any differences between the husband and the wife become glaringly obvious during this time.
- Most couples usually have children at this point. One of the parents may not be satisfied with how the other is as a parent.
- Children generally lead to a more hectic life. As such, people are often under pressure and trying to balance their work and family. This can lead to flaring tempers and a lot of fights.
- Life has usually devolved into a routine by this point. As such, people start to get bored and start looking for ways to bring the excitement back in their lives. Blaming their spouse is an easy way out of this problem.
- Due to increasing responsibilities, couples do not spend time with each other in the same way that they used to. This prevents the relationship from growing, which is extremely important for a successful marriage.
What Are The Best Years of Marriage?
We have been all about the ‘doom and gloom’ so far. Let’s let some sunshine in!
Simply put, all of them. Marriage is a beautiful adventure that you embark upon with a person that YOU CHOOSE. In an ideal world, all marriages would be perfect. However, even if things aren’t always perfect, you always have the chance to turn things around.
For example, many wives have been devastated by their husbands telling them that they want a divorce. However, quite a few of them have managed to keep their marriage intact. Some, in fact, have built a bond that was much stronger than before.
Even when you are going through the most difficult of times, there is something to enjoy in your marriage. In the first few years, it is passion. Then, it is watching your children grow up. After that, it is watching your spouse grow as a person and realizing that you are growing with them. Towards the end, it might be caring for your grandchildren. No matter where you are in life, there is something good that can come out of your marriage.
Improving Your Marriage
Every marriage is different in some way and nobody has a 100% stress-free marriage (despite what it looks like on the outside). If you’re struggling with something in your marriage, let’s dig a little deeper and fix the root of the problem.
What if Divorce is my Only Option?
In some cases, there is nothing else you can do. Sadly, a lot of marriages end in divorce. However, even divorce can be a blessing in disguise. Many people who get a divorce (or trial separation) end up getting back together. The time apart helps them realize how important their spouse was to them.
Even if you don’t get back together with your spouse, it is best to think of divorce as a fresh start. You tried your best, and you failed. This means that there is only one remaining truth: The two of you weren’t meant to be. Even if your marriage is over for good, it’s a chance to try again. There may be someone else out there who is perfect for you, waiting to be found!
The point is, that it is up to you to find the positives in anything. Marriage will always be difficult. It will also be immensely rewarding, in the form of companionship, self-growth, children, and a lot else.
There are periods within a marriage, especially during the first decade, that will be difficult. With a little bit of patience, determination, and will-power, it is possible for you to survive through them. Believe me when I say this that talking to people that have been married a long time, sticking through the bad times is always worth it.