From all of the available research we have reviewed about marriage and its benefits, the one benefit that stands out most is this—more and more people who get married are getting married “because marriage is a status symbol.” As long-time love and marriage experts, we are most pleased by this research.
One of the many benefits of marriage is this—marriage has become an important indicator of a successful personal life in the United States and around the world! Marriage is the single greatest contributor to social order on planet Earth and the most profound commitment to lasting love that exists. Those who question its importance ignore the facts.
Over the years we have seen a positive trend developing with the steadily declining divorce rate since its peak in 1981 and it is highly encouraging. The divorce rate is now at its lowest level since 1970. The good news is more and more couples are committed to making their marriage work! In a society that is often characterized as “a disposable society,” marriage has too many benefits to be routinely “disposed.”
After a lengthy review of the current research on the benefits of marriage, we have selected what we think are the top 10 reasons marriage is the greatest contributor to social order in the good old USA:
- You will live longer and be healthier. The preponderance of evidence from research shows a relationship between longer life and being married. The links between marriage and good physical health are overwhelming.
- You will experience higher levels of psychological health. Married people have lower rates of depression and schizophrenia than unmarried people.
- You will be happier. Married people report being happier than unmarried people.
- You will be less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. Numerous studies indicate that married individuals are less likely than unmarried persons to engage in risky behaviors including the use of drugs or alcohol because of their feelings of responsibility.
- You will have a built-in support system. Research indicates that individuals in a marriage feel supported, saying that they have someone to share their feelings and thoughts with.
- Your earnings will be greater and you will save more money. Numerous studies found that married individuals have a significantly greater earnings than unmarried individuals even when all of the various possible factors are taken into consideration. In the United States married individuals in their 50s and 60s have a net worth per person roughly twice that of other unmarried individuals.
- You will have sex more often and enjoy it more. Married couples also have sexual intimacy more often than unmarried couples and enjoy it more.
- Your children will be healthier, do better academically and have fewer emotional problems. Children living in families with married parents are more likely to have proper health care, better nutrition, less serious illnesses, better grades, better tests scores and less stress to deal with at home.
- More couples in the 18-34 age range will be headed to the altar over the next couple years! Marriages have increased some 4% since 2009 and will continue to increase through at least 2015 and probably beyond. After a downturn in marriage due to the USA economic downturn, marriage is now on the rebound, and that is good news. The biggest increases are among women ages 25-34, college-educated, and the more affluent. Marriages are declining or growing stagnant for those with a high school education or less and the poor and less affluent. The good news is this – marriage thrives among those who get married at the “right time.” Check out love and marriage articles to learn more about the “predictors of successful marriage.”
- Drum roll please . . . . number 12 is this – Marriage is now a status symbol! It appears from the available research that marriage is now regarded as an indicator of a successful personal life. Marriage is now considered a “privileged position” in society. According to “Hollingsworth v. Perry, marriage “confers a special validation of the relationship between two individuals and conveys a message to society that domestic partnerships or civil unions cannot match.”
When you consider what social science research tells us about the benefits of being married and what our research reveals about the importance of the seven characteristics of successful marriages, you have many powerful reasons to work hard Building a Love that Lasts with your spouse.
It is our profound belief, as love and marriage experts, that the value of marriage to the world will not change over the next 50 years. Marriage is here to stay.
Trust us when we say this – the numbers tell us that the marriage rate per 1000 Americans will stay about the same or increase as the USA and world economy gets better, as it always has under similar circumstances for time immemorial. Keep the faith!
**Today, you can see how you stack up to the best marriages around the world. Take the Marriage Quiz to assess your chances of achieving a successful marriage of your own.
By Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts