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Study: The 3-Year Mark is a Turning Point in Relationships
People used to talk about the seven-year itch, the time when many couples reevaluated their marriage and often decided to pursue divorce. However, it seems our fast-paced way of life has accelerated the timetable. A recent study shows that it is now common for married couples to become disillusioned and take each other for granted around the three-year mark.
To promote the release of the comedy, “Hall Pass”, in the United Kingdom, Warner Brothers commissioned a survey about why we are seeing a faster decline in relationships in the quick-paced 21st century. After polling 2,000 adults in steady relationships, researchers found that after three years, relationship stress levels tend to peak.
What is to blame for the high stress levels?
More and more people are working longer hours, which takes time away from a person’s home life. Also, increasing numbers of couples are worried about money, which takes a considerable toll on any relationship. Over time, these major stressors can cause couples to become disillusioned with each other and less tolerant of certain issues such as snoring, lack of exercise, thriftiness and out-of-date clothing.
The study came to some predictable conclusions. For example, those who have been in relationships for less than three years reported more romance than those who had been together longer. This is not surprising, when you consider that as people get older, romance generally gives way to the practicalities of life.
However, the poll made some interesting discoveries. Researchers found that over time, partners are less inclined to give each other compliments. People in earlier stages of relationships get roughly three compliments a week from their partners. However, after the three-year mark, that number drops to one compliment a week. Some who have been in relationships for longer than five years report that they never receive compliments from their partners.
Overall, the study showed that minor quirks and irritating habits blossom into full-blown annoyances around 36 months. For some, this is a time to figure out how to renew the relationship. For others, it is time to speak with a divorce attorney.
If it’s Time for Divorce, we can Help
The experienced family law attorneys at GillespieShields can help you file for divorce while protecting your interests. Please call us at 602-870-9700 (Phoenix) or 480-985-4000 (Mesa) or contact us to request a consultation today.
Source: Reuters, “The 7-year itch is now the 3-year glitch,” 9 March 2011
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