Many people young and old wonder how they should live their lives, and being married or single is one of the top considerations. Nowadays, people are putting off being married until later on in life because of the increased life expectancy, and some aren’t even getting married at all. The rising divorce rate is also causing more adults to live singly: approximately 48% of marriages end in divorce. Over the past several decades, marriage has become more of a social thing than an actual necessity. But people’s animal instincts are wired for finding a mate either way.
But despite all this bleakness, leading psychologists have decided that marriage is the best ticket to happiness, financial stability, and longevity. All around the world, people report how marriage makes them happier than their money, community, or career does. Forty-eight percent of married individuals said they were “very happy,” while only 24% of unmarried people said so. Even though marriage can be hard, it is the better alternative. Though marriage does not make happiness levels rise, it keeps them at a stable level. Studies alternately show that unmarried people showed a slow decline in happiness levels over the years.
Let’s look more closely at why marriage is the better choice:
- Better finances: The saying “Two can live as cheap as one” isn’t exactly true. But two can live cheaper by sharing furniture, insurance benefits, food, a car… If a person becomes sick, loses a job, or requires emotional support because of stress, the other spouse can help out. This is also cheaper, because credit card debt, home nurses, and therapists cost a lot. Married men also do better at work, are promoted more, and are late or miss work less frequently. Married women make 4% more at work than their single co-workers.
- Longer life: Married people live longer as well. Single men have mortality rates 250% higher than those that are married. Single women have mortality rates 50% higher than married ones. Having a soul mate can minimize your risk of cancer and add ten years to your life. Singles spend longer times in a hospital and have a bigger risk of dying from surgery. According to life expectancies, nine out of ten married individuals at age 48 are likely to still be alive at age 65, while 8 of 10 single women and 6 of 10 single men are likely to be alive at 65. Married people have better immune systems too, from support or pestering to watch blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight. Married people may also be less likely to catch colds.
- Better mental health: Married people are half as likely to commit suicide as unmarried ones. They have lower levels of stress and depression. They are also half as likely to be displeased with their lives or have drinking problems.
- Greater safety: Though many people think there are risks for married women being “wife battered,” women are as likely to be abused or killed by their husbands as they are by strangers. Not much, then. When it comes to crime and violence, married women are five times less likely to be victims than their single counterparts are. Married men are four times less likely. Why is this? Married partners watch out for each other’s safety and warn each other about risks or dangers. Husbands and wives are also less likely to be violent towards each other because they have a big investment in the relationship.
- Better sex: Approximately 40% of married people have sexual intercourse two times per week. Only 20-25% of single men and women do. Around 40% of married people say their sex life is physically and emotionally satisfying.
Now that you know some of the main reasons why people choose marriage, how can you help make sure the marriage is a happy one? When you look all around you, you might see unhappily married couples, but it is possible to have a happy marriage and life with your soul mate. It just takes some time to learn how. Here are some tips:
- Make sure you love each other before you get married. Do you love spending time with your future partner?
- Know each other long enough to have an understanding of their personality, best qualities, and faults. Think about those things before making a decision. Their individuality will affect both of your lives, because you’ll be married to each other.
- Listen when your spouse is talking, even if you’re not that interested. You have to talk about each other’s lives to keep the communication open.
- Begin and end your day with a kiss. Be sure to say “I love you” every day, as frequently as you need to.
- Look for ways to spend time with each other. Watch a movie, take a walk, or chat.
- Do something special for each other. If you constantly think about the person you married before you do something, you will never want to hurt that person, but will want to surprise them or give them things.
- Decide to work every single day to make the marriage the best it can possibly be.
Because everyone is different, some people may never want to get married. But if you feel better and more open to the idea after reading this, then take heart that your life, whether you’re a man or woman, will be much better. However, you need to pick your partners wisely, or you could end up with a horrible spouse that you have to divorce from. When choosing a life partner, spend as much time with that person as you can to get an idea of how they are. Don’t rush into anything. Some people take as long as a year, or even ten, before choosing to settle down together and have a family. Since marriage is tricky, although beneficial, it would be a good idea to talk to couples who have a strong marriage and see what they like about it and how they treat each other.