Ethics & Religion
January 31, 2019
Eight Reasons To Marry
By Mike McManus
National Marriage Week
is coming up, Feb. 7-14. If you are married,
why not use this week to make a case to your unmarried friends -
particularly those who are cohabiting - to consider taking the Big Step?
In 2018 8.5 million couples were cohabiting, but only 2.3 million
couples married. In fact, there were more marriages in 1970 than in
2015! The number of never-married Americans nearly quintupled from 8.7
million in 1970 to 41.3 million never-married in 2015.
Perhaps the never-married do not know the benefits of marriage.
According to a new study of more than 20,000 people over age 60 in
England and the U.S. by researchers at University College London,
married cancer patients are more likely to survive illness than those
who are single. In fact, those who are married are two-thirds less
likely to have a heart attack!
A second major value of marriage is that married couples are much less
likely to engage in risky behavior, such as substance abuse and
dangerous driving. Why? "Married people are more aware that they have
somebody who depends on them, and therefore they make the conscious
decision to put self-preservation above all else."
Third, married men are two-thirds (64%) less likely to have a fatal
stroke than single men," according to the American Stroke Association.
However, the study conducted by Uro Goldbourt of Tel Aviv University,
men who are unhappy in their marriage, experienced a less significant
advantage than those with successful marriages.
Fourth, those who marry are less likely to feel "overly stressed or
depressed," according to the University of Chicago. Dario Maestripieri,
a University of Chicago professor, asserted, "What we found is that
marriage has a dampening effect on cortisol responses to psychological
stress, and can therefore act as a buffer against stress."
Fifth, there is a higher chance of recovering from major surgery if one
is married. "Happily wedded patients who undergo major surgery are more
than three times as likely to still be alive 15 years later when
compared to their unmarried counterparts," reports Kathleen King, a
researcher at the University of Rochester.
Why? Ms. King asserts, "There is something in a good relationship that
helps people stay on track. In fact, the effect of marital satisfaction
is every bit as important to survival after bypass surgery as more
traditional risk factors like tobacco use, obesity, and high blood
Sixth, married couples have a much lower chance of developing mental
illness, according to a 1991 American study. Social psychiatrists Lee
Roberts and Darrel Regier published a paper showing how "married people
have significantly lower rates of severe depression and at least half
the likelihood of developing any other major recognized psychiatric
disorder than never-married, cohabiting or divorced people."
Seventh, if your marriage is a happy one, you sleep better than your
dissatisfied or single counterparts. Wendy Troxel, a psychologist at the
University of Pittsburgh, reports that women are "particularly boosted
by marriage." For example, she reported that married women are found to
have a 10% better chance of getting a good night's sleep than unmarried
She reported that "Marriage can be good for your sleep if it's a happy
one. But, being in an unhappy marriage can be a risk factor for sleep
disturbance. If you're not sleeping, you're more irritable, and have
lower frustration and tolerance levels" that can "affect your marriage."
Eighth, and most important, research has continuously shown that by
jumping the broom, you are effectively adding a couple of extra years to
your life, and, in some instances, up to ten more years!
Dr. Ilene Siegler and her research team at the Duke University Medical
Center studied 5,000 individuals born in the 1940s, who observed how
stability and change in the patterns of midlife marital status affected
They discovered that "having a partner through middle and old age is
protective against premature death., Those who never married were more
than twice as likely to die early than those who had experienced a long,
stable marriage throughout the majority of their adult life."
What's more, couples can take steps to deepen their relationship and
extend their lives. Dr. Sue Johnson developed what she calls a "Hold Me
Tight" relationship education. It is a new approach to helping couples
foster trust and connection. The Hold Me Tight program improves
relationship satisfaction, trust and intimacy by helping couples develop
secure attachments with their partners.
Marriage not only increases the odds of a long life, but a more
Happy Valentine's Week!
https://www.nationalmarriageweekusa.org for more information.
Copyright (c) 2018 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and
a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to
Search for any topic.
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