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?




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.


6 responses to “Is Marriage Good for your Health?

  1. Depends on who you’re married to!!
    Is it all about you or are you a team, sharing the responsibilities of life.
    If it’s not equal, I think that can be very hard to overcome.

  2. I think marriage is good because it teaches you to work like a team. You need to consider others peoples habits, ideas and ways of doing thing differently. It prepares you to be able to work with other personalities and accept their differences. Marriage is a ongoing thing that has to be worked on, tweaked each and every day.

    When I look at my sister, who is a single Mom, and listen to hear comments of how irritated she gets when others stay at her house and use her things I just laugh.

    She doesn’t get what it’s like to share a bed, sink, toothpaste etc. In addition, I have to consider my mates interests, ideas and concerns when making plans. That’s okay because it just makes us better at socialization skills.

    I know that I will be extra thankful to be married it’s just the two of us at home without children and I have someone to share my time, concerns and hobbies with.

  3. When you have found the person in life that inspires you, makes you stronger/better, makes you smile/laugh, gives you hope, marriage is the best outcome. You make a committment to each other based on all those amazing things you see in each other and you know that the struggles and dark issues will show themselves. However it is that commitment that gives you the confidence to know you will prevail as a couple and as an invidual. Knowing that someone else is with you and will help you makes it all easier to face and makes the celebrations even better! I wouldn’t trade marriage for any of the thing!

  4. Is marriage good for your health? I say, YES! I see health as your physical, spiritual, and mental well-being. There are a few things you need for a marriage: love, commitment, and selflessness. It seems that all of the divorces and unhappy marriages I have witnessed are missing one, all, or a combination of these ingredients. The component of marriage that is most important is the effort. Effort is motivated by the ingredients. It all comes down to “you get out of it, what you put in to it”. It is just like anything else we have. If you buy a house and you don’t maintain that house by painting it, fixing it, or cherishing it, it will “fall apart,” not be “valuable” and it will not feel like a “home”. If you maintain the house with love, sweat, and tears you will have a”sturdy”, “valuable” HOME. You get out of something what you put in it. I have received so many gifts from my marriage. Here’s a few that come to mind:Love, children, loyalty, self-esteem, compromise, independence, dependence, maturity, spiritual growth, team-work, support, encouragement, happiness, thankfullness and grace. I don’t think I would have received so many gifts without marriage. I think sometimes we don’t always want to know ourselves for who we really are. With that said, to have someone with you on the journey who knows you better than you know yourself or that can give you a little nudge when you need along with all the gifts you give and receive is what makes us us “HEALTHY”!

  5. Pingback: Celebrate National Marriage Week: Be a Marriage Advocate –Part I « Life Gems

  6. Pingback: Celebrate National Marriage Week: Be a Marriage Advocate –Part II « Life Gems

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