Marriage may not seem as blissful as the concept of spending an entire life with the one you love. For instance, how repelling is the thought of waking up at 6 a.m., making tea, preparing breakfast, getting the kids up and dressing them to school? Ah! And is there a time off it? Even for a short while? Well, let’s not even go down that lane. But hey! Marriage isn’t all that bad. Sure, it is not a happily ever after, but it fulfils all those wishes about good health and well-being that you sub-consciously wish for. Unbelievable? Well, we have evidence.
While a couple banks on health benefits just by their choice of spending life together, one may score more in certain spheres of well-being while the other sits a few steps back. For instance, while a man’s sex life is likely to improve after marriage compared with that of a woman’s, a woman’s risk for developing depression is likely to decrease compared with that of her partner’s.
Tracking over a million Americans since 1979, the National Longitudinal Mortality Study has shown through its studies that married women are 20 per cent less likely to die of different types of diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver and ovarian cancer while married men are three times less likely to die early compared with their bachelor peers. Well, now you know what to do to live longer. And why must it all be because of marriage, you think? Because, there is someone to nag you to visit the doctor at the first sign of a disease, you adapt to better lifestyle habits, such as eating on time, sleeping on time and more.
A team of Swedish researchers has found that cohabiting when one’s middle aged means a lowered risk of dementia along with other diseases such as cancer, heart attacks, pneumonia, etc. Several other studies that looked deeper into the subject of “marital bliss” found that Alzheimer’s and other chronic ailments are much lower in married people than in unmarried people. As far as diseases are concerned, the decreased risk is equivocal in men and women.
Postnuptial depression may not be unheard of, but in reality, it does not exist in a happy marriage. In fact, the risk of falling into a depression pit is reduced if a couple is happily married. According to a research by The Ohio State University, on an average, people who were depressed prior to getting hitched gained greater psychological benefits from marriage compared with their single or dating counterparts. It was also found that marriage stabilises episodes of depression in women with bipolar disorder. The trend, however, is absent in the case of men. The study attributed the causes to the presence of someone to talk to.
[Read: Top 10 Tips for Happy Marriage]
If you think that women experience more stress than men, you are wrong. Lab experiments have shown that when individuals are given stressful tasks, men produce more of the stress hormone cortisol than women. For men, marriage is likely to curb stress response.
While it may seem otherwise, being in a strong relationship enhances sex life. We are strictly referring to a happy and strong relationship. Of course, an unhappy relationship is the primary cause for it fumbling down like a mountain of cards. Getting back to where we were, according to Discovery Health, married men have more sex than people, who are dating or are single. Unfortunately, women’s sex life is not as fulfilling as that of men’s in marriage because they feel that they do not get the necessary appreciation that they should.
It may be difficult to live with the little nuances of daily life with someone of the opposite sex, but for all the health benefits of companionship it renders, wouldn’t you take the leap of faith?
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