From this article.
New Marriage Foundation research reveals the majority of couples who are unhappy when their first child is born are happy ten years later if they stay together.
Of parents who are unhappy at the time of the birth of their first child, seven in ten stay together and of these the majority (68 per cent) are happy ten years later.
Twenty seven per cent of unhappy parents who stay together end up ‘extremely happy,’ rating happiness with their relationship a top mark of seven out of seven.
With rates of family breakdown at record levels in the UK, the research suggests too many couples are giving up on their marriages before they have given them a chance to succeed.
Harry Benson, research director of Marriage Foundation, commented: “Contrary to popular belief, staying in an unhappy marriage could be the best thing you ever do.
“Most marriages have their unhappy moments, but apart from the fortunately extremely rare cases where the relationship involves abuse, most couples can work through the difficulties to be happy later on.
It should come as no surprise that those couples that can work through their unhappiness and conflict will bond closer together and usually come out happy on the other side. However, we have a culture that says to quit on marriage when you’re unhappy or your feelings are telling you otherwise.
The most interesting point from reading the study is that:
The parents most likely to split up during the subsequent ten years were those who reported they were neither happy nor unhappy when their child was born. The same was true for couples who suspected they were ‘on the brink’. The parents most likely to split up were those who were unsure if their relationship was on the brink or not.
So there was a bell shaped curve where unhappy and happy had the lowest rates of divorce, but those who were neither unhappy or happy had the highest rates of divorce.
This too makes some sense with some critical thinking. At least someone who is unhappy in their situation cares about their situation. If someone is not unhappy or happy they tend to be more apathetic, which is a death knell for relationships. If any spouse just doesn’t care anymore (has checked out), that’s more likely to signal the end than unhappiness.