(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
As the Lag Ba’omer wedding season approaches, a new survey shows that 80 percent of married couples in Israel are not “very satisfied” with their marriages, and most fall under the category of just “somewhat satisfied.”
According to attorney Avraham Azrielant, CEO of Azrielant Leisrael Law, who commissioned the survey last month, these surveys are important “for the nation, since people in unhappy marriages are less productive economically and socially.”
The survey, carried out this month by the Geocartography institute, comprised a representative sample of 500 people, who were asked to rate the marriages of their peers who have been married for over five years. This method, known as “projective questioning”, is a common practice in studies of intimate matters. The results are meant to indicate the subject’s evaluation of his or her own marriage.
Just 18.8% of the subjects rated the married couples as “very satisfied,” while the largest number, 45%, rated them as “somewhat satisfied.” Only 5% of the subjects were placed in the most negative categories: “not very satisfied” and “not satisfied at all.”
More women than men rated couples as satisfied, and the younger the subjects were, the more satisfied they rated. In terms of religiosity, 81.4% of religious/haredi subjects reported satisfied marriages, while just 59.9% of secular subjects did so.
According to Azrielant, the survey aims to help couples either end an unsatisfactory marriage in a more peaceful and pleasant way, or treat marriage problems before they escalate.
“Marriage is like two people stuck together with glue at many different points. These points may be love, sexual attraction, children, or a host of other possibilities,” Azrielant said Wednesday. “With today’s tools, each of these points can be evaluated, to see both how strong the connection is, and how important each point is.”
Most couples who divorce after 10 years of marriage usually have very
bad experiences in the three or four years leading up to the divorce,
Azrielant said – years they could have been spared. Drawn-out marriages
lead to messier divorces, he added.
But Azrielant, despite heading a law firm that deals with domestic issues, is not looking for divorce cases.
“Half of the couples who come to us usually don’t end up getting
divorced – because we provide them with tools to evaluate themselves
and see what they really want out of marriage. Some of them have dreams
of partners who just don’t exist. But if the direction is divorce, we
prefer to have it done sooner rather than later.”
Azrielant is continuing to research the tools necessary to properly
evaluate couples’ marriages, in hopes of helping people get more
satisfaction out of their relationships.