Why We Thought Marriage Made Us Healthier, and Why We Were Wrong by Bella DePaulo
The power of marriage to transform allegedly forlorn single people into blissfully happy and healthy couples is not just the stuff of fairy tales. For more than 70 years, social scientists’ studies havesupposedly shown that marrying improves people’s wellness. Award-winning scholars and leading magazines have all proclaimed that marriage typically makes people healthier and happier.
The promise is seductive: Find and marry that one special someone and all your dreams will come true.
Recently, though, new and methodologically sophisticated studies have been published that suggest something startling: Maybe we are wrong about the benefits of marriage. People who marry, it seems, do not become healthier than when they were single, and may even become a shade less healthy.
They do not become lastingly happier, either.
…No matter how he looked at it, Tumin found marriage did nothing for men’s health. Among the women, only the oldest study participants in the most enduring marriages described their health as a bit better after they had married.
….We think that because married people have someone, they are protected from loneliness and single people are not. But that is another example of a misleading cultural narrative fixated on the perils of single life. It ignores the special pain of feeling lonely within a marriage. It fails to appreciate the deep fulfillment that solitude can offer, with its opportunities for creativity, reflection, relaxation, rejuvenation, spirituality and peace.
When we think of married people as having someone, that seems particularly important when one of them falls ill. This, too, is not always true. A study of women with breast cancer, most of whom were married, showed that support from their significant other did nothing to relieve their distress or speed their recovery.
(Link): Why Christians Need To Stress Spiritual Family Over the Nuclear Family – People with no flesh and blood relations including Muslims who Convert to Christianity – Also: First World, White, Rich People Problems
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site
(Link): Singles Advocate DePaulo Responds to Right Wing, Conservative Critics of Singlehood, Who Blame Singles For Breakdown of The Family (reminder: I myself am right wing)