a couple"s joint responsibilities as parents can affect their own relationship. marital satisfaction follows a u-shaped curve: early high point, declines until late middle age, rises again through first part of late adulthood. Least happy time= when couples are heavily involved in raising children and careers. positive aspects of marriage (cooperation, discussion) follow u shape pattern. negative aspects like anger, disagreement tend to decline (this could because these marriages end in separation) research showed that marital satisfaction exists in a u shape- d. during the first 20-24 years of marriage, the longer the marriage has lasted, the less satisfied they tend to me. but in late 30-40"s years of marriage, couple remains very satisfied. three sections of the u shaped curve: early, middle, later years. when children come, couples may experience dissatisfaction.