Contrary to popular belief, it appears marriage is not always a miserable slog through quagmires of irritation and ennui culminating only in messy divorce or unfulfilled death. In fact, a study shows that some married people totally still like each other.
According to Miller-McCune, researchers talked to 274 married Americans, 47.8% of whom said they were "very intensely in love" with their spouses. A little over thirteen percent said they were "intensely in love," while 26.2% were "very in love," which makes marrieds sound like a pretty smitten bunch. Lovey-doveyness did decline for couples married 10 to 20 years, but went up again for those together 20 years or more. And while love numbers were a bit lower in a version of the study conducted in New York state, researchers say that could be because people in the Northeast are just disgruntled.
The study is obviously heartening for married people — the odds that they'll still be able to stand their spouses in a few years are pretty good. Of course, the availability of divorce may have something to do with that — as Tom Jacobs of Miller-McCune points out, "With all the hand-wringing about the high divorce rate, could it be that the people who stay married are more likely to truly be in love?" Given this, it would be interesting to track married people's love over time as various social factors change. For instance, a look at marital happiness as gay marriage becomes more common might refute conservative claims that allowing gay couples to marry would somehow harm straight relationships. For now, it's just nice to know that some married people are still into each other long after the honeymoon is over.
Long-Term Love Not Just A Fairy Tale [Miller-McCune]
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