marriage and health

Marriage is Good For Your Health

by Laura

Marriage…ah. You would probably have had one of two reactions when you saw this. Either you felt a warm and fuzzy feeling creeping up your insides or you’re off cowering in fear somewhere hoping that your significant other will never, ever manage to find this text. Although the modern world has mixed views on the validity and relevance of marriage, it is still common practice despite phenomenal divorce rates. However, it has been suggested by some fairly reputable sources, that if you manage to get married and sustain a healthy relationship, you will experience very real and noticeable health benefits.

It turns out that marriage and health go hand in hand.

One of the most interesting examples comes in the form of William Farr’s research on the conjugal condition. According to The New York Times Magazine, Farr’s research showed that people who were not married died in “undue proportion” to those who were. This was the founding for new research as Farr’s became outdated. He had basically divided the population into “married”, “celibate and “widowed” which of course, leaves little room for other states which are now accepted like homosexuality, couples who are divorced and of course, those who live together but are not married. Still, his work formed the basis for more recent studies which show the following:

Marriage Health Benefits
Living with a romantic partner or being married can reduce the risks of cancer, heart attacks and pneumonia. Marriage helps promote things like routine and an organized lifestyle which have benefits on the system. The American government claims that they spend $150 million in order to try and prevent divorce annually. This is apparently due to the specific health benefits that were documented in a Swedish study that involved married and unmarried couples from the Netherlands.

Another school believes that there is a discrepancy of cause and causation (don’t worry; there won’t be any economics lectures here). What this basically means is that because healthy people are more likely to get married in the first place (fact), they are at lower risk due to that original health and not the benefits of marriage. This is a valid point but must also take into account the benefits of companionship which neither school is arguing against. In 2010 Tara Parker-Pope (the author of the article) published her book For better: The Science of A Good Marriage. Tara herself, is not the best looking woman I have ever seen but she seems to be in a happy marriage and a young and healthy woman.

Marriage Health Risks
A marriage can begin to hinder your health when there is a lack of communication or abuse of any sort. Issues in a marriage can lead to depression. We now know that mental illness and psychological aspects have direct linkages to health problems like weakening the immune system, weight-loss or gain as well as chronic headaches and even cancer. Also, marriage obesity is a term that refers to extreme weight gain in comfortable marriages. Of course, there are more obvious risks that occur through practices such as marrying within your bloodline and marrying at a young age but these are more closely related to sexual activity. So as it turns out; marriage is not simply an outdated institution and does not only have religious connotations; marriage is healthy.

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