As Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry continue to bask in the glow of their new life together, new research finds that within the first 18 months of marriage, many couples go through the Big Five. The study, published in Developmental Psychology, says heterosexual couples will likely exhibit five personality changes during the early months, as they adjust to their new roles. Is this what they mean by “honeymoon’s over”?
According to study lead Justin Lavner at the University of Georgia:
Results indicated significant changes in personality over time, including declines in agreeableness for husbands and for wives, declines in extraversion for husbands, declines in openness and neuroticism for wives, and increases in conscientiousness for husbands.
He says while women will become less open, men will become less extroverted during those initial stages.
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The study also finds that wives become “less neurotic” and the husbands “increasingly conscientious and more emotionally stable.”
And this goes for everyone. The results did not differ despite age, demographics, relationship length prior to marriage, cohabitation prior to marriage, initial marital satisfaction, or parenthood status.
Lavner concludes that, “Taken together, these findings indicate that newlywed spouses’ personalities undergo meaningful changes during the newlywed years and these changes are associated with changes in spouses’ marital satisfaction.”