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What's the Most Challenging Thing About Marriage? Divorced People Weigh In

Divorced folks reveal the marriage challenges they wish they'd known about before the wedding.

Marriage, just like any other relationship, has its share of ups and downs. When two people have been together for decades and more, how could it not?

But according to a new study, there's one challenge in marriage that's the toughest of them all. Among all the obstacles faced by married folks, 26 percent of people surveyed (all of them divorced) said that commitment was the most difficult part of marriage, which they wished they’d known sooner.

The second hardest? Communciation, which was the most challenging part of married life for almost 21 percent of people asked.

Compromise was another emotional curveball for roughly 20 percent of those asked.

And what about finding "the one?"

The study found that good communication is a nearly universal barometer for identifying whether people had found "the one." 72 percent said proper communication made them realize their relationship was special. Respect, love, trust, friendship, and affection are also extremely valuable for the health of a romantic relationship.

Older women especially sing the praises of good communication, with 30.4 percent listing this one factor as the key to a successful marriage. Appreciation (16.5 percent) and sex (11.4 percent) also got honorable mentions from older women, with percentages dropping off at commitment and compatibility (5.1 percent each).

Older men, however, stated that commitment was the most important; 22 percent of members of this demographic cited this factor as the key to a successful marriage.

 So there you have it: The key to a healthy marriage is communication — and not getting daunted by commitment.

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