Regardless of culture or socio-economic status, research shows overall positive effects of marriage on a couple’s health and wealth. 😉
Marriage is a commitment to stay true to one another “in sickness and in health.” It’s the assurance that our husband or wife will be there in the roughest times. But have you considered what benefits marriage might have to protect us from sickness and unhappiness?
For over 100 years, sociologists and psychologists have been studying how married couples appear to be healthier, happier and wealthier than their wedding-ringless peers.
Regardless of culture or socio-economic factors, research consistently shows married people live markedly longer than the unmarried. The health benefit of marriage is strong enough, according to a 10-year British study, “to offset the risk of smoking for men and enough to offset approximately half the risk for women.” Other studies show that married men and women are less likely to suffer from serious illnesses, and when they do, their recoveries are quicker and more successful. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported the health benefit of being married is equivalent to being in an age category 10 years younger.
Marriage not only gives you longer life, but a happier life, too. Since 1936, studies have shown significantly higher levels of overall happiness and mental health for married people. A more recent study involving 17 diverse industrial nations found that married couples were 3.4 times more likely to report being generally happy and overall content in life, compared with cohabitating couples.
If marriage is a ball and chain, it is a weight that slows down the curses of illness and unhappiness.
© 2017 Martha Bolton and Christian Ditchfield. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Adapted from “Can I Just Hide in Bed ’til Jesus Comes Back?” by Martha Bolton and Christian Ditchfield, a Focus on the Family resource, published by Tyndale House Publishers.
Learning to stay focused on real love through the challenges life brings to a married couple is a commitment. Take our free Focus on Marriage Assessment to understand your relationship’s strength and growth areas to build in the different seasons of your marriage.
If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources at family.org.my.