Ever have that day or that argument that leaves you secretly thinking, “I wish that I was single”? Marriage is full of peaks and valleys, but overall, those who are married report more satisfaction in life, greater feelings of security, raise mentally healthier kids, and have better health outcomes and qualities of life.
So, if you’re sitting around envying your single friends who are constantly going out on exciting dates and meeting new people, take heart. The grass is always greener on the other side, but scientific research concludes that the grass really is greener for those who are in stable relationships and have made the commitment to love each other forever.
What are the benefits of marriage?
Happily ever after is an illusion that has been tainting our realistic view of what marriage is since the first time someone read us a fairytale. There is no such thing as happily ever after. There is, however, something known as “happily mostly after,” and that is what you should hope for.
More good than bad, more health than sickness, and till death do you part—these are the signs of a healthy relationship, even if it isn’t always bliss. Stick with it, try to forgive more than being forgiven, and learn to choose your battles, and these 11 benefits of marriage can be yours.
#1 It may contribute to a longer life. An abundance of studies continually come to the same conclusion: those who are married live longer when they stay married than those who live unmarried throughout life. When you adjust for all other factors, the trend can be seen in every race and across many different cultures. Moreover, it doesn’t matter what type of things that people die from. Those who are unmarried have a shorter life expectancy, regardless of their gender or ethnicity.
#2 You have a better standard of living. By staying together, you don’t suffer the hardships of splitting expenses and households and dividing things in two. There are those who believe that the reason for the discrepancy in benefits to being married versus unmarried is due to a better standard of living for those who stay together. Hopeless romantics *such as myself* choose to believe that love saves all. Two are always much stronger than one when dealing with life situations.
#3 Married people are healthier than those who remain unmarried. There is an abundance of different ways that staying a couple increases your physical health and wellbeing. When you live with someone, they are more likely to notice subtle differences about you, which you may not even notice yourself. Thus, they can encourage you to seek medical attention far more quickly than you would have thought to do on your own. The physical benefits are not just for acute illnesses like cold and flu, but for chronic disease prevention such as diabetes and cancer.
#4 Married people engage in fewer risky behaviors. Married people are also less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Worrying about how their behaviors will affect their spouse, they tend to “tone it down” a bit. They drink less, they eat better, and they recover quicker from illnesses because they take the time to allow their bodies to heal. Sometimes, two people caring for each other is more powerful than just one who would rather ignore it and carry on.
#5 Guys, the benefits apply to you, too
. When you compare the health benefits for men against those of women who are married, what you find is that the health of a married man versus an unmarried man increases significantly. Even if men like to paint their wives as a nag who is always on them about something, their wives are actually doing things out of love that may be saving their lives.
Research indicates that it isn’t just about getting married. A man who is in a committed relationship benefits from pairing with a woman. Doing away with destructive behaviors before the “I dos” are even exchanged, seriously dating someone can drastically improve a man’s health.
#6 Emotional support is key. Studies continually show that people who feel a sense of community and emotional support from those around them have better health outcomes than those who feel emotionally isolated. Being a couple means that you have someone to lean on when you need some support.
Emotional support can be a buffer not only against mental health, but against physical health as well. Studies have shown that your marital status is relative to your immune system function and may help to curb chronic disease. Protecting you from stress, which is a major contributor to illness, having someone to talk to, vent to, and help with your conflict resolution can all promote more health benefits than are likely to occur being alone and continually reaching out to others.