Is Marriage Good For Your Health?
Many people seem to run away from the idea of marriage as if it could ruin them financially and physically. In fact, there are many documented benefits of marriage—physical, spiritual, and economic, among others. I wouldn’t suggest getting married just to reap these benefits, mind you, but engaged and married couples might be lucky to know these facts. And those who fear marriage might find it eases anxiety.
I have a pro-marriage perspective. First of all, let me say that I realize that not all divorces can or should be prevented, especially when there is some kind of abuse going on. My intention is to give positive information about marriage.
For the sake of brevity, I will only touch on some of the physical benefits of marriage. If you are interested, I would be happy to share more details with you. In other articles, I share some surprising health benefits that married parents offer their children.
For the adults:
1) Married people live longer than people of the same kind who are single or divorced, even after accounting for income, race and origin. (This is true for women, but there is an even stronger correlation for men.)
2) Men and women who are married have lower rates of drug abuse and alcohol use than unmarried individuals, even after accounting for genetic factors and family background.
3) Married people have a much lower suicide rate than those who divorce. Tragically, men and women who are divorcing are twice as likely to attempt suicide as married people. Married women have lower suicide rates than divorced, widowed, or unmarried women.
4) Married men and women are, on average, healthier than single, divorced or cohabiting people. Researchers don’t know if this is because healthier people get married or because marriage helps them stay healthier. However, you know that married couples, on average, lead healthier lifestyles, monitor each other’s health, and have more wealth, all of which likely contribute to better health. A large study of retirees showed far fewer illnesses and disabilities in married people than in those who were widowed, divorced, or cohabiting, after controlling for age, race, and sex. A caveat here is that better quality marriages led to better health outcomes! Stress inside or outside of marriage is never good for your health.
For more information on these studies, see Why Marriage Matters, Second Edition by Institute for American Values.
Thanks to Lori Lowe