The Korea Herald


3 out of 5 young couples went through a rough patch

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : April 16, 2024 - 12:07

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A recent survey on married couples in their 20s and 30s have shown that 65.4 percent of them have experienced a severe decline in contentment of their marriage.

The survey was conducted on 500 married women last month by a local matchmaking company Duo, to see how many of the young South Korean couples go through "gweontae-gi," which roughly means a period when a couple find each other tiresome. It is similar to the seven-year itch in the Western culture, a belief that happiness in long-term relationships drastically declines after seven years.

The most common tell-tale sign of a bump in their marriage was "increase in arguments and conflicts" picked by 36.4 percent of the respondents, followed by "decrease in conversation" chosen by 25.4 percent, and "decrease in physical intimacy" picked by 18.8 percent of those who participated in the survey.

What happened most commonly for those in gweontae-gi was that they were "irritated by the spouse for no reason" (21 percent), "saw only the negative aspects of the spouse" (19.4 percent), "were not sexually attracted to the spouse" (16 percent), and "regretted getting married or felt helpless about it" (15.6 percent).

When asked how they overcame those difficulties, 27.7 percent of the respondents said "though truthful conversation and understanding of each other," while 14.5 percent said "time fixed it." About 10.4 percent said they "spent more time together," while 9.8 percent cited "positive thinking."

Taking a break from each other helped 8.7 percent of them.

But 12.7 percent of the people of went through a rough patch said they never eventually overcame the issue, with 31.4 percent saying it was "due to irreconcilable differences in personality." It was followed by "lack of manners" of their spouse at 18.6 percent, "grown sick of a long relationship" at 13.2 percent, "due to difference in values over family" at 11.6 percent, and "physical fatigue" at 9.6 percent.