Happy ever after? 91% of Brits think so


It seems that 2012 has been a great year for couples. According to the eHarmony® Happy Marriage Index, a study of 2,077 married people and their relationship happiness which is released today, over 91% of couples are happy. Furthermore, 17% of these happy couples in the study declared that married life is just “perfect”.

eHarmony.co.uk which focuses on helping its users find long-term happy relationships, conducted this year’s index to monitor the state of British married life. The study reveals that in an average week, married couples spend 61% of spare time together. However if 31% of husbands had their way, they would spend all of their time with their beloved wife. Conversely, women seem more independent when happily married with 56% agreeing that spending time apart from their husbands is healthy and 29% claiming that they would actually find their partner annoying if he were around all of the time.

Friday evening is the time when most couples feel happiest in their marriage, having finished work and with the prospect of a weekend ahead with their loved one(s). According to the eHarmony Index, couples spend 11 hours a week in front of the telly together, compared to just three hours spent romantically. It’s no surprise then that one of the biggest female gripes is control of the TV remote with 18% of women saying it’s the thing that annoys them most about their man. For 28% of men however, the prospect of their wives getting ready to go out is most irritating, with another 21% agreeing that their wives’ back-seat driving literally drives them around the bend.

Despite the niggles, the happy couples were unanimous in agreeing what makes their marriage work: Sharing family values (95%), goals (94%), sense of humour (85%) and outlook on life (83%) were all cited as predictors of a happy and successful life together.

Jenni Trent Hughes, Relationship Advice Expert for eHarmony, comments on why the UK is in marital bliss. She comments: “91% is a significant amount of couples that are happily married in the UK, especially through economically challenging times. 2012 has been a celebratory year when as a nation we have triumphed, with every moment played out across the TV, so as a whole we’re feeling a lot more positive. What’s particularly interesting is how happily married people say they have the same family values, same goals, share a sense of humour and outlook on life, because science tells us that it’s similarity across these core values that will keep us happy in the long term.”

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