The great secret of a successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.
-Sir Harold Nicolson

From "A Bad Economy Is Good for Your Health?" by Sharon Linnéa:

In a surprising turnaround on conventional wisdom, researcher Linda J. Waite has found that unhappily married couples who divorce are no happier in the long run than their counterparts who remain married. This is because nearly two thirds of the couples who are unhappy in their marriages-even extremely so-describe their marriage as happy five years later, while unhappy people who divorce are most likely to still be unhappy. This seems to be true with couples who stayed together even when faced with problems as serious as infidelity or drug use. In fact, the more extreme the unhappiness, the more likely the marriage was to turn around. Of those who rated their marriage very unhappy, 8 out of 10 had found success with the same spouse five years later.

In some cases it's because the couples actively worked to solve the problems-for example, they sought counseling. In some they simply waited out the problem-the children grew up, a spouse landed a job-and in some the husband and wife took responsibility for finding happiness in other venues than the marriage.

Yet the researchers also point out that most of the couples that describe themselves as unhappy in their marriages thought of those same marriages as happy five years earlier-and likely would again. In other words, most marriages go through prolonged periods of difficulty, but if the partners are committed to commitment as well as to each other, they are likely to come out happy with their relationship as years go by.

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