The age-old institution of marriage can be mutually beneficial to both men and women, especially if they have stuck it out for several years. Sustaining the marital bond for 10 years or more can be physically, emotionally, psychologically and economically rewarding. If the marriage is a happy one, then the positive effects are even more significant. On the other hand, a marriage that is riddled with mistrust and discord, whether the partners have been together for 10 or even 50 years, may not result in similar benefits.
Happily married couples live longer and enjoy relatively better health. A study conducted by Ilene Siegler, Ph.D., and a team of other researchers at the Duke University Medical Center earlier this year, entitled "Consistency and Timing of Marital Transitions and Survival During Midlife: the Role of Personality and Health Risk Behaviors," found that individuals who were married for several years were two times less likely to die prematurely than their unmarried counterparts. The results for participants who were involved in stable and satisfying marriages was even greater than that for those who had been married and then divorced or were simply cohabiting.
In addition to longevity, couples who have been married for at least a decade have significant health benefits. In her book "Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, & Make It Last," psychologist Karen Sherman, Ph.D., who specializes in relationships, cited the results of a number of studies that found that married individuals were less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease, influenza, heart disease, cancers, stress and depression. Her research also revealed that individuals in a happy and lasting union had a greater chance of recovering from major illnesses, such as cancer, or corrective surgeries, such as heart bypass -- seemingly benefiting from the nurture and care of their lifelong partners.
The Companionship of a Life-Long Partner
When married, you will always have someone to talk about day events, whether it’s the ups, downs or the in-betweens. Individuals who experience stressful days have the opportunity to reduce anxiety by sharing with a supportive spouse. You can celebrate the joy of victories and good news together. Other advantages of having a companion include always having a date for Valentine’s and other special occasions.
Pooled Resources for Higher Standards of Living
Married couples usually combine all resources to handle short-term and long-term needs. Two incomes are definitely better than one. When a couple gets married, what was once separate becomes shared. After 10 or more years, the cumulative effort of paying into mortgages, retirement savings plans, and premiums on insurance packages can be quite significant. Additionally, those couples who have "grown old together" and maintained their marriage into the retirement years can benefit from the accumulated and combined wealth of attractive pension and retirement savings benefits.
- Annals of Behavioral Medicine: Consistency and Timing of Marital Transitions and Survival During Midlife: the Role of Personality and Health Risk Behaviors
- Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, & Make It Last; Karen Sherman
- WebMD.com: Benefits of Marriage and Long-Term Relationships
- US News: Marriage Benefit: Couples' Money Secrets Everyone Can Use
- The Telegraph: Why Getting Married Leaves You Better Off
- Getty Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images