Third year of marriage is the happiest

Three years after the wedding, couples reach top satisfaction levels with their marriage as they settle into life as a married pair

Newlyweds rejoice, if you think marriage is great now (and even if you don't) things are set to get better. The third year of married life has been found to be when spouses are the happiest.

According to new research, the first year is a comedown from the wedding fever, the second is the chance to get to know each other better and by the third, we've accepted our partner's faults and settle in to planning the future, which further strengthens the relationship.

So this year should have been brilliant for those couples who married in 2010, lucky David Walliams and Lara Stone, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem and Vince Vaugn and his wife Kyla Weber.

The survey, commissioned by family law specialists Slater & Gordon, polled 2,000 married people. It found that by year three, couples had got used to the financial aspects of marriage, including shared bills and any benefits.

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But enjoy it while it lasts because a couple of years later - at the five year point - couples experience one of their hardest years, which the strains of children and increasing work pressures testing marriages. Though Beyonce and Jay-Z seem to be getting on with it pretty well.

Family lawyer at the firm, Amanda McAlister said: "The buzz of the first few years where everything is new is hard to maintain and often people find that married life hasn't lived up to their expectations.

"We encourage anyone having doubts at this point in their marriage to really think about whether it's a crisis that can't be overcome.

"Often those clients will just be having a hard time and six months later their marriage will have completely turned a corner."

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And if you make it through the tricky year five, just wait for year seven, described by the researchers as 'the wall'. But rest assured, if you make it over this hump, you're set for a long and successful marriage.

The research also asked couples about how the felt in their marriage and received some concerning responses. Many said they 'didn't realise how hard it would be' and that there was a significant comedown after the wedding day, which half ranked as the best day of their lives. And sadly, a third said that the love in their marriage had decreased since the big day.

Four out of 10 of those polled said they 'could do more' to make their marriage work, and perhaps that's the most important advice to take away from the stats.

Amanda McAlister agrees. She said: "People often get so overwhelmed by the first few years they forget that a successful marriage requires work. Marriages have ups and downs and highs and lows."

Which has been best and worst year of your marriage so far? Tell us on Twitter.