Is marriage the answer to a happier and healthier life?
Marriage is good for the heart:
Studies indicate that marriage may be good for your health. Researchers analyzed the data of 3.5 million people and after adjusting numerous variables concluded that “marital status was independently associated with cardiovascular disease” (1). Another study that corroborates these findings can be seen here (6). This can be due to the many changes you make in preparation for becoming a team. Many people will become safer and take fewer risks. Humans are social and having someone to talk to and open up is a stress reducer on its own. A partner also feels obligated to ensure you live a long life, so they will usually put you in check when eating unhealthy, drinking in excess or working too hard.
For example such as one by Dr. Diana Dinescu published in Journal of Family Psychology (2) and another published in The American Journal of Psychiatry(3) provide strong evidence that marriage can cause a decline in alcohol consumption. It can also see here(4) and here(5) that marriage leads to a reduce rate of substance abuse as well. Some studies(7) do show a rise of drinking in females because some habits rub off from males (males tend to drink more) but alcohol in moderation is shown to have several health benefits.
Marriage is good for overall health:
To add to the above “A major survey of 127,545 American adults found that married men are healthier than men who were never married or whose marriages ended in divorce or Widowhood” (13). RAND corp noticed the same viewing studies as far back as 140 years go. They also noted that people in good health normally marry less while people in poor health marry more, yet they live longer. That could very well be due to the reasons listed above. A happy marriage keeps you on your toes (14).
Married men tend to earn more:
Many men seem to want to get married after being financially stable. However, I tend to notice marriage bringing out a fire inside to be the best you can be. Many athletes always attribute their drive and motivation to their families and kids. A loving home can be a great motivational factor. A report by For Richer, For Poorer(8) showed that married men work on average 400 more hours a year than their single peers of the same background. A Harvard study (9) showed that married men are also less inclined to quit a job unless an even better one came along. In these current economic times, that is a good trait to have. So by looking diligently and finding your partner early you can buy the toys you want and enjoy it with someone that will appreciate it.
Many households are now dual income, so you make more and only have to buy half the stuff. So you have someone you love, you make more and you spend less. Professor Seven Nock noted in his book that Marriage in Men’s Lives that bachelors are “changed by their marriages”; “They become better men.” He also states that “Among its many benefits, marriage raises the earnings of men and motivates them to work more hours” and that “Employers value marriage and reward it”.
Married people tend to have more sex:
A 2010 study by Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University showed that “less than five percent of singles between the ages of 25 and 59 have sex two-to-three times a week, while a quarter of married people do. 61 percent of singles reported that they hadn’t had sex within the past year, only 18 percent of married people said the same” (9).
According to a University of Chicago National Sex Survey, 43 percent of married men reported having sex at least twice a week, while only 1.26 percent of single men not cohabiting had sex that often. Single men were 20 times more likely to be celibate than married men. Waite and Gallagher indicate that marriage facilitates the sensual action. Intercourse is easier to initiate and more convenient for married couples. Any single “act of sex costs them less in time, money and psychic energy. For the married, sex is more likely to happen because it is so easy to arrange and so compatible with the rest of their day to day life” (10).
Frequent sex is linked to happiness as seen in these studies here and here. Frequent sex boosts your libido, lowers blood pressure, burns calories, improve sleep and ease stress (11). That is enough to make people happy. However, studies do show that after one time per week happiness does not increase.
Now bear in mind a lot of the above is dependent on having a happy marriage. An unhappy marriage can have devastating consequences on overall quality of life. Also, the term marriage and a serious cohabitating relationship can be one in the same. You don’t need a piece of paper to be married in a true love sense. So let’s not get too hung up on labels, you know what you are.
Being needed and feeling wanted:
I feel this is one of double edge swords that most of us take for granted. Just like having kids or owning a dog it is a lot of work. However, a lot of us get a sense of pride and fulfillment when helping others. Is that not why a lot of people do thankless jobs like being a police officer, fireman, or do volunteer and charity work. We all have our strengths and weakness but with teamwork, your weaknesses can be their strengths (12).
Although these are all correlations and there are negative aspects of marriage (nothing is perfect), when researching all the pros, cons and flaws in research methodology for both sides, it seems marriage gets the win. Since finding true love is very hard to find, maybe this article will encourage people to seek it earlier rather than later. An article I have in the backburner will show how more sexual partners before marriage can have a negative impact.
Do you agree or disagree that marriage makes you happy? Would you like me to make a part 2 showing, even more benefits? Or would you like me to take the anti-marriage stance on my next paper and let you guys decide?
(1) Marriage Linked to Lower Heart Risks in Study of 3.5+ Million Adults – American College of Cardiology. (2014). American College of Cardiology. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from http://www.acc.org/about-acc/press-releases/2014/03/28/09/55/alviar-marital-status
(2) PsycNET – DOI Landing page. (2016).Psycnet.apa.org. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/fam0000221
(3) Effect of Marriage on Risk for Onset of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Longitudinal and Co-Relative Analysis in a Swedish National Sample | American Journal of Psychiatry. (2016). American Journal Of Psychiatry. Retrieved from http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15111373
(4) Relationship Status and Substance Abuse. (2016). Alcohol Rehab. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/relationship-status-substance-abuse/
(5) Heinz, A., Wu, J., Witkiewitz, K., Epstein, D., & Preston, K. (2009). Marriage and relationship closeness as predictors of cocaine and heroin use. Addictive Behaviors, 34(3), 258-263. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.10.020
(6) Live together or get married? Study finds similar emotional benefits. (2015). News Room. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from https://news.osu.edu/news/2015/12/03/unions-emotional-health/
(7) Science, L. (2012). Marriage Drives Women to Drink, Study Suggests. Live Science. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/22497-marriage-women-alcohol-consumption.html
(8) (2016). Aei.org. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IFS-ForRicherForPoorer-Final_Web.pdf
(9) 6 Reasons Why Married People Should Have Better Sex Lives. (2016).Psychology Today. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stronger-the-broken-places/201509/6-reasons-why-married-people-should-have-better-sex-lives
(10) (2016). Ece.rice.edu. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from http://www.ece.rice.edu/~cscott/christianity/marriage.html
(11) 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex. (2016). WebMD. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/sex-and-health?page=3
(12) What Men Wished Women Knew About Them. (2016). Askmarsvenus.com. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from https://askmarsvenus.com/Article.php?id=413