There is no doubt that marriage is good medicine. The statistics reinforce the fact that happily married couples have the market cornered of improved health, wellness and longevity when compared to their cohabitating contemporaries. It stands to reason, if you want to be healthier, live longer and prolong living a better life, you might want to consider getting married because marriage is good medicine.
12 Health Benefits of Marriage
1. More rested sleep
2. Look younger
3. Enjoy a greater sense of safety and security
4. Feel better, healthier, have more energy
5. Improved immune system for fighting disease
6. Less likely to suffer from stress or depression
7. Fewer cases of psychiatric disorders
8. More likely to quickly recover and survive surgical procedures
9. Have fewer strokes and heart attacks
10. Less likely to get cancer
11. Married cancer patients more likely to extend life or survive
12. Enjoy longer lifespan than cohabitators
And for men, who get a bad rap for being commitment-phobic and less interested in tying the knot, there is even more good news for those who do, as we know married men earn more money, and have better sex lives than their cohabitating peers, which also contributes to having higher sense of safety and security, self-esteem, and increased physical and mental health.
You might ask, “How is all this is possible?”
Scientists have been hard at work to uncover the science behind the health benefits of marriage for years, and if you look at the science behind it all, you, too, could only conclude that the fact remains, marriage is good medicine.
Why is Marriage So Healthy?
The answer to, “Why is marriage so healthy?” is multifaceted, as you might have guessed.
For those among the religious or spiritual communities, they have been staunch proponents of marriage and maintain that the taking of sacred vows increases spiritual connection, and that this greater connection between two committed people is responsible for greater health and wellness, while strengthening the God-connection, attracting, even more, blessings (or some variant thereof).
Scientists take a different approach. The science bears out that people who have entered into the marital contract, and have what would be referred to as “good marriages” have higher levels of the healthy and happy hormones, and less of the harmful ones.
What’s wrong with living together?
And you might also ask, “Why is a marriage so much better than living together?”
Scientists maintain the distinction of good vs. bad marriages is important because if you are in a “bad marriage,” one that is highly dysfunctional (though all marriages have some degree of dysfunction) or abusive, you do not enjoy the health benefits of marriage and it may even promote ill health, greater risk of disease and higher mortality rates.
In this case, you would be better off in a reasonably convenient relationship living together than to be in a bad marriage, and that is probably why you see fewer marriages among our younger generations these days, for who of us has not seen someone we care about go through a horrible marriage and divorce? (Some of us, even in the first-person.) Such a person might ask, “Who in their right mind would willingly sign up for such pain and misery?”
There is no doubt there is a reasonable risk upon the entering of any agreement or contract, especially a long-standing one. Banks will tell you there is a certain amount of risk in someone’s ability to make a 5-year commitment to buy a car or even more risk in a 30-year commitment to pay for a home, but a commitment for a lifetime? “Until death do we part” seems unfathomable.
Harville Hendrix has suggested that the distinguishing factor which draws the line between happy marrieds and happy cohabitators is ambivalence. Hendrix says, “If you’re not committed, then anxiety is associated with your level of lack of commitment. When that ambivalence goes away, the anxiety goes down, and the chemicals begin to flow and all the good things that we apparently are, happen as a result of that intimate bond.”
Nonetheless, something magical happens when two are joined in holy matrimony, whether it is due to an increased spiritual connection or lack of ambivalence, they do live happier, healthier and longer lives than those who cohabitate.
All the reasons may not be as black-and-white as we’d like them to be, yet couples who are married continue to live better lives than those who live together, and they enjoy all the health benefits indicating marriage is good medicine.