Finding True Love

Dating tips and relationship advice

Relationship Advice: The Shocking State of Marriage

The Shocking State of Marriage: Survey Results

Last Tuesday I was on the Today Show with Woman’s Day Magazine Health Editor, Amy Brightfield discussing, marriage and if there really is a happily ever after. Woman’s Day and AOL Living surveyed more than 35,000 women to find out how they feel about their husbands and marriages. The results? Wedded bliss isn’t always so bliss-filled.

The survey said that 72% of these women have considered leaving their husbands.This result is not surprising to me. All marriages have their ups and downs. When you’re in a downtick, feeling disappointed, wounded, or angry, it is normal to think about leaving. It doesn’t mean you need to leave. Or that the marriage is over.

So here's the first bit of relationship advice: There are no perfect husbands. At least after the first 2-3 years! The crazy-in-love infatuation phase fades out after 2-3 years of marriage. Then comes disappointment and fighting—it is all part of marriage. When you feel like leaving, it is time to roll up your sleeves and work on the relationship, practice forgiveness, lovingly ask for what you need, go for a walk-and-talk, on a romantic date. Most importantly, reconnect.

Another interesting survey result is that 79% of these women want sex more often and 52% of them say they have NO sex life…or a dull one at best. Usually it’s the men who feel this way. But now it is less taboo for women to talk about sexual dissatisfaction in their marriage. These days men’s ED issues are plastered all over the television. There are commercials about couples ecstatically overcoming their sexual problems. And women feel they have the right to have a sexually satisfying marriage the way men did in the past.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Only 19% called their sex life satisfying. I believe this is because very often sex falls to the bottom of the To-Do list, after work, errands and especially kid’s activities—because these days families are super child-focused. The answer is to put sex at the top of the To-Do list. Set up a babysitter away from the house and have a romantic, sexy stay-at-home date. Flirt with your husband, imagine you are having an affair with him. Send him sexy text messages during the day.

Also, 41% of married couples say they don’t have a date night. This is alarming!! People do not understand how very important it is to spend time alone as a couple. All the research shows that couple alone time is one of the markers of a happy marriage. 80% of couples divorce because they have lost the sense of connection, the one-on-one friendship that underlies a good marriage.

Another interesting result, 46% of women say that their husbands have changed for the worse since marriage. This result stems in part from a natural process in marriage. As you get to know your partner, sometime the endearing things become the very things that bother you the most. He used to be interested in everything you do when you first met. It was adorable then. Now it’s smothering. The work of marriage it to learn how to lovingly ask for what you need and to help your spouse become a better partner for you while you become a better partner for him.

In spite of all the negativity, 71% of the women surveyed say they expect to be married to their spouses for the rest of their lives. I think this shows that women are very savvy and they know that by working to overcome or work around these problems, they can keep all the benefits and advantages that come with being married.

All love relationships are complex. They bring the highest highs and lowest lows. This is why love is such a fantastic crucible for growth. To learn more about creating passion in your love life look for my new book, Love in 90 Days

Wishing you love,
Dr. Diana

Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., a psychologist and frequent guest expert on The Today Show, is the author of the bestselling book Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love. more...

Subscribe to Finding True Love

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.