Scientists: Being married is good for health

A new study shows that family people find it much easier to deal with stress.

In general, being married is healthy as long as your partner is also your best friend.

Sociologists have long known that married people tend to be happier.

It is debatable whether this is because marriage causes happiness or simply because happier people are more likely to marry.

A new book published by the National Bureau of Economic Research examines levels of happiness before marriage.

The conclusion is that married people are happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who remain single – especially in time of the most stressful periods, such as the midlife crisis.

Stable marriages are more common among educated people, as well as among people with high incomes. At the same time, among uneducated and poorer people, divorce is more frequent.

But a quarter of today’s young people will never marry by 2030, according to the Pew Research Center.

Marriage can be the most important thing that keeps you afloat during times of life stress, or just when things aren’t going well, says Sean Grover of the Canadian Department of Finance.< /p>

He and John Helliwell of the Vancouver School of Economics analyzed well-being data from two national surveys in the United Kingdom and the Gallup World Poll.

In almost all parts of the world, those who have married say they feel more fulfilled and happy.

However, this conclusion does not hold in Latin America, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is intriguing that the duration of family happiness has long exceeded the honeymoon period.

Although some sociologists argue that happiness levels are innate so that people return to their natural levels of well-being after joyful or upsetting events, scientists have found that the benefits of marriage continue to increase.

One of the reasons for this may be the role of friendship within marriage. Those who think their spouses or partners are also their best friends get about twice as much life satisfaction as singles, study shows .

Women are more likely to marry their best friend than men, although women are less likely to view their husbands as their best friend.

“What immediately intrigued me about the results was the rethinking of marriage in general,” Helliwell said. “Perhaps what is really important is friendship, and never forgetting that everyday life has both attraction and repulsion.”

Marriage has undergone drastic changes in the last half century. In the past, as the Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker wrote, marriage was utilitarian: women sought a husband for financial protection, and men sought a wife to run the household.

But in recent decades, the roles of men and women have become closer. As a result, spouses are seen as companions and confidants, especially those who are financially stable, as economists Betsy Stevenson and Justin Wolfers point out.

The benefits of family friendship are most pronounced during middle age, when people tend to experience dips in their life satisfaction, mostly because they are under the stress of career demands and family.

Married couples experience these tremors much more easily, the researchers found.

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