Op-ed Contributor: Get Married, Get Healthy? Maybe Not.

Studies of happiness, relationship satisfaction as well as also also life satisfaction in which the same people are followed for years have been piling up for over a decade. A review of 18 of them within the Journal of Personality as well as also also Social Psychology in 2012 concluded of which well-being does not typically improve when people marry. At best, newlyweds enjoy a brief “honeymoon effect” in which they feel a bit more satisfied with their lives at first, yet then their satisfaction declines, as well as also also they end up feeling as satisfied or dissatisfied as they were when they were single.

The participants within the Swiss study reported their life satisfaction every year, as well as also also Professor Kalmijn found of which people who married did become a little more satisfied. Over time, their satisfaction eroded, though much more slowly than in most previous studies of marriage. Dr. Kalmijn also examined the implications of divorce as well as also also found of which people who divorced became significantly less satisfied with their lives. In fact, the negative implications of divorce for life satisfaction were more than three times greater than the positive implications of marrying.

of which’s important. the idea helps explain why so many of us have been so sure for so long of which marriage makes people happier as well as also also healthier. within the typical study, only people who are currently married are included within the married group. Then, if the currently married people do better than people who are not married, single people are told of which if they get married, they will do better, too. yet many people who marry — probably more than 40 percent — divorce as well as also also end up less happy than when they were single. A better way to assess the likely implications of marriage can be to compare everyone who ever married to people who never married. Very few studies ever do of which.

Imagine of which a pharmaceutical company, in testing a brand-new drug, found of which 40 percent of the people on the drug refused to keep taking the idea. Then imagine of which the company simply ignored those people, or included them with the people who never took the drug. They might then find of which people currently on the drug are doing better than people not on the drug. yet might you take a drug based on of which argument?

Our belief within the benefits of marriage, though, was never based solely on science, so the idea can be unlikely to be undermined by even the most compelling research. The way we think about marriage adds up to an ideology, a worldview in which we have become deeply invested. What can be on offer can be nearly irresistible: Find of which one special person, marry him or her as well as also also you will have someone who loves you as well as also also cares for you for the rest of your life. You will contain the most important adult relationship, the one everyone wants. Because you contain the idea, you will be happier as well as also also healthier than you were when you were single — as well as also also morally superior, too.

today of which we know of which’s just not so, maybe we should celebrate our newfound wisdom.

Today nearly as many adults are not married as married. Those who do marry are taking longer than ever to get there, as well as also also on average Americans spend more years of their adult lives unmarried than married.

The brand-new as well as also also accumulating research suggests something heartening: People who are single are doing much better than we realized. Marriage can be unlikely to bring lasting improvements to their health or well-being, as well as also also could even result in decrements.

Free of the myth of which marriage can be a magical potion, we can all pursue the life paths of which suit us best. Marriage can be still there for those who want the idea. yet today people who prefer to live single can come out of the shadows. The possibilities for meaning as well as also also fulfillment in one particular life have gone largely unrecognized. the idea can be time for of which to change.

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Op-ed Contributor: Get Married, Get Healthy? Maybe Not.

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