Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Marriage Premium

Since the number of divorces continue to climb, and the demands of family are life long  and getting more complicated we have the glorification of  the single life and cohabitation. Living alone, the money  and time can be spent as one pleases, sounds good does it not? Cohabitation brings no legal responsibility and easy to leave when one wants  freedom. Seems like a suitable alternative to marriage, right?

However, 99% of the world marry. Why do they choose such a difficult path? There was a time in the west when skepticism was in vogue about the structure of marriage but for the last 25 years many studies have shown that the benefits of marriage are much greater  than the burdens. The head of a Happiness Research Center writes his response in an article in Bible & Life magazine.

He mentions how in studies that have been made with those with same age, education and work place those who are married are from 10 to 40 percent better off in the money they make in comparison to those who are single, cohabiting or divorced, This is true in 14 countries of the OECD.

They are also healthier and live longer than those who remain single, cohabit or are divorced.They live about 10 years longer and look younger. One of the scholars who have studied the question attributes the living longer of the men to the scolding of the wife on smoking, drinking, computer use and concern over the health of the husband.  This is a reason for the longevity of the married men  compared to the single according to the researcher.

The benefits for the women is also great. In Japan and the Netherlands the longevity of the married is greater. In the developed countries the single, cohabiting and divorced are the victims of robbery, rape, fraud, sexual harassment at a far higher rate than the married.

Another researcher in the study of sexuality found that those who were married had a greater level of sexual satisfaction than the single and those cohabiting.  This came as a surprise to the researchers. The common understanding was that the married who had only one mate would get bored with the same person but the study showed something else.

The reason was that in reality one feels more at ease and knows what to expect and has greater trust with deeper bodily and mental interaction. Confidence, security, responsibility, maturity and in all the qualities that can be measured, the married have a higher rating then the unmarried and those cohabiting. They also rate lower in depression, and suicides: the  divorced are the highest, followed by the single and those cohabiting.

Since these are the benefits of married life couples need to overcome all the obstacles that arise to strengthen the marriage bond by getting help and using all the means available to overcome the conflicts that will arise in marriages. Marriage is a premium and needs the same amount of care as health and economics, and the happiness will increase.

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