"It's a little unexpected because the perception is that newly-wed couples should be the happiest but in reality that's not the case," lead author, Melissa Weinberg, said. Weinberg describes the phenomenon as the "wedding hangover" or the crash experienced by couples after the big day. "People imagine their wedding day to be the best day of their lives," she said.
"The engagement period is very exciting and it's a much-anticipated event. After the big day, all couples are left with is the photos, the video, a pile of bills and the realisation that you have just made that huge life decision for better or worse," said Weinberg. Another study carried out for the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, found that couples bounce back from post-nuptial depression, with their happiness score increasing to 78.4 in the second year of marriage. Those who can stay the distance are the happiest of all.
Researchers also found that married people were generally happier than singles, de factos, divorcees or people who were widowed or separated. Those who had been through a separation were the unhappiest with a score of 69.2, the report said. Married women were happier than men, with wedded bliss peaking at between three and five years for women and again at the 40-year mark.