The number of marriages ending in divorce is on the rise and many couples are now starting to re-evaluate their relationships. But while the increasing statistics may be true, it is important to know some facts about marriage and how it benefits both spouses, physically, emotionally. psychologically, even financially.
According to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), married people were healthier for nearly every measure of health. They live longer lives, and they suffer less from heart disease, back pain, headaches, and serious psychological distress. Most married people are also less likely to get involved in smoking and heavy drinking. They even fared better on their depression tests than when they were still single.
Married couples benefit about equally from marriage, although in different ways. While both men and women live longer, happier, healthier, and wealthier lives when they are married, husbands are usually the ones to gain greater health benefits. The wives, on the other hand, get the greater financial advantages.
Although some quarters claim that the arrival of the first baby comes in between the husband and wife, thus bringing some kind of stress to the marriage, it seemed that it was just an initial effect since couples with children have a slightly lower rate of divorce than childless couples.
For most couples, the secret to a long-lasting marital relationship are commitment and companionship. They define their marriage as a product of hard work, dedication, and commitment to each other and to the institution of marriage. The most successful marriages are couples who have become friends who have compatible in interests and values.
In the past, women with higher education were less likely to get married. On the contrary, recent studies on marriage rates in the mid-1990s concluded that today’s educated women are more likely to marry despite of their older age, than their non-college peers.
Even the notion that those couples living-in together prior to marriage are able to test their compatibility for a more satisfying and lasting marriage seems to prove otherwise as they become less committed over time and more likely to call it quits when problems arise. Recent findings reveal that there may be less motivation for cohabiting couples to undergo conflict resolution. Still, others may argue that co-habitation is just like marriage, but without the “piece of paper.” However, it does not bring the benefits – in physical health, wealth, and emotional well-being – that marriage does. In terms of these benefits, cohabitants in the United States more closely resemble singles than married couples. This is due, in part, to the fact that cohabitants tend not to be as committed as married couples, and they are more oriented toward their own personal autonomy and less to the well-being of their partner.
While some feminists believe that a marriage license gives men a “license to hit” women, a large body of research shows that being unmarried and/or living with a man outside of marriage, is associated with a considerably higher risk of domestic violence for women. Moreover, married men are less likely to commit domestic violence because they are more invested in their wives’ well-being, and more integrated into the extended family and community. These social forces seem to help check men’s violent behavior.
When it comes to sexual relationship, married people have both more and better sex than do their unmarried counterparts. Not only do they have sex more often but they enjoy it more, both physically and emotionally.
With all of the above-mentioned advantages and benefits of marriage, the one area where married couples fared unsatisfactorily is with body weight. Most married men and women have the tendency to gain weight. From ages 45 to 64, three out of four married men were overweight or obese. Single men and women who had never been married were the leanest groups.
While live-in partners, divorced and separated coupled don’t get the same health benefits as happily married couples, a bad marriage can have serious negative effects on your health. Marital stress can be a strong a marker as work stress when it comes to your risk of heart disease.