Tag Archives: marriage benefits

Happy Relationships Create a Fountain of Youth

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, except without the punch line. What do the Roman Catholic Church, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and prominent universities have in common? Answer: They have all studies and concluded that people in good, supportive relationships live longer and better lives, look younger, and are significantly healthier than those who are single or dating in bad relationships.

Let’s review. We’ve all heard that living longer, better, healthier lives is associated with good marriages. But LOOKING YOUNGER AND BETTER? Really? Now, they have our attention. Put those wrinkle creams away; you may have found a way to hold on to your youth. Read the details in this Huffington Post article.

The catch is that none of these groups have determined a universal reason for the positive side effects of good relationships. However, there are some working theories. One is that couples in strong relationships feel calmer and more relaxed. Their cortisol levels (a stress hormone) are reduced, along with their blood pressure. Reduced blood pressure has lots of health and wellbeing benefits. They add that having similar interests as your partner insulates you from most daily struggles. Couples seek to be happy together, and they have a better quality of life. In addition, intimate friendships with your mate along with great sex within a loving, adventurous, familiar partnership is also known to improve quality of life.

Whatever the reason, if you have a positive, loving marriage with your intimate partner, and enjoy a positive sex life, you may have found the way to look and feel younger. “The happiest and healthiest couples seem to have found an ageless life in their very own version of the Fountain of Youth,” says writer Kristen Houghton.

What do you think? Are the researchers just being mean to single people by saying we married folks have health, happiness—and now youthful looks as well? Or do you think there is something to the positive side effects of having a loving mate by your side?

Photo: ©Green308/PhotoXpress

Is Marriage Good for your Health?

Lots of people seem to run from the idea of marriage as if it may cause them financial and physical ruin. As I alluded to in previous posts, there are actually many documented benefits of marriage—physical, mental and economic among others. I wouldn’t suggest getting married just to cash in on these benefits, mind you, but engaged and married couples might be happy to know these facts. And those fearful of marriage might find it eases fears.

 

It’s clear that I have a pro-marriage perspective. However, let me say up front that I realize that not all divorces can or should be prevented, especially if any kind of abuse is occurring. My intent is to provide positive information about marriage.

 

In the interest of brevity, I will touch on just a few physical benefits of marriage. I’d be happy to share more details if you are interested. Next time, I’ll share some surprising health benefits that married parents provide to their children.

 

For the adults:

1)    Married people live longer than similar individuals who are single or divorced, even after factoring in income, race and background. (This is true for women, but there’s an even stronger correlation for men.)

2)    Men and women who are married have lower rates of substance abuse and alcohol consumption than unmarried individuals, even after controlling for genetic factors and family background.

3)    Married individuals have a much lower rate of suicide than those who divorce. Men and women who divorce are tragically twice as likely as married individuals to attempt suicide. Married women have lower rates of suicide than divorced, widowed or never-married women.

4)    Married men and women are on average healthier than single, divorced or cohabiting individuals. Researchers don’t know if this is because healthier people get married or because marriage helps them to stay healthier. However, they do know on average married couples live healthier lifestyles, monitor one another’s health and have more wealth, which all probably contribute to better health. A large study of retired individuals showed much less disease and impairment in married individuals than widowed, divorced or cohabiting individuals, after controlling for age, race and sex. A caveat here is that better quality marriages led to better health outcomes! Stress inside or outside a marriage is never good for one’s health.

 

What do you think—is marriage good for your health or is it irrelevant? Why?

 

 

Sources:

Marital Status and Health: United States, 1999-2002.

Why Marriage Matters, Second Edition by Institute for American Values.

“Mortality Differentials by Marital Status: An International Comparison,” Demography 1990.