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Referencing the old proverbial phrase, it used to be that certain marriages started to get stale after the seven-year itch. Now, according to statistics, the bloom is disappearing off the rose within just three years, and, some might argue it’s really less than that when you factor in how sped up and disposable our culture has become.

Researchers analyzed responses from two sets of married or cohabitating couples: One group was together for one to three years, the other for four to six years. Ironically, researchers found that for the most part, the couples involved for a shorter period of time were happier.

"The initial boost that marriage seems to provide fades over time,” said Professor Kelly Musick, a University of Southern California sociologist. And something we always sensed but couldn't confirm: “Some folks start getting less happy at the wedding reception," said Larry Bumpass, a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, who co-wrote the study with Musick.

Research also showed that the median duration of first marriages that end in divorce remains a little more than seven years. That means those couples will likely spend more than half their married lives less happy than they were when they first walked down the aisle.

Musick noted that with nonmarital childbearing more common and women more economically independent, love and commitment for one another is what's keeping couples together and "that's fragile." Terribly fragile, I might add. One most also have respect — a lot of respect for one's partner. Without it, it's hard to make any relationship last.

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