“The vast majority of people get married during their lifetimes, and what is known is that, on average, satisfaction declines,” Lavner said. “So the question is, how do couples’ problems actually change? So many people enter marriage happily, but then go on to struggle. What explains that disconnect?”
The study used data from 169 newlywed couples assessed eight times over the first four years of marriage to examine how couples’ marital problems changed. Ratings of 19 specific problems indicated that couples’ difficulties in areas such as in-laws, household management, amount of time spent together and unrealistic expectations do not change.