I was pleased to read this article since DH and I were married almost exactly 30 years ago, in March 1993. (We lived together for 5 years before marriage.) I still love him like a teenager. Although we didn’t have children, I can attest that his help was crucial to my well being during my heath problems, including driving me to Seattle 21 times for my breast cancer treatments.
For Long-Term Health and Happiness, Marriage Still Matters
A new study shows that for women, getting married is linked to significantly better physical and mental health
By Brendan Case and Ying Chen, The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2023
A new study in the journal Global Epidemiology … examined 11,830 American nurses, all women, who were initially never married, and compared those who got married between 1989 and 1993 with those who remained unmarried. We assessed how their lives turned out on a wide range of important outcomes—including psychological well-being, health and longevity—after about 25 years.
In most cases, we were able to control for the nurses’ well-being and health in 1989, before any of them had gotten married, as well as for a host of other relevant factors, such as age, race and socioeconomic status. …
The women who got married in the initial time frame, including those who subsequently divorced, had a 35% lower risk of death for any reason over the follow-up period than those who did not marry in that period. Compared to those who didn’t marry, the married women also had lower risk of cardiovascular disease, less depression and loneliness, were happier and more optimistic, and had a greater sense of purpose and hope.
We also examined the effects of staying married versus becoming divorced. Among those who were already married at the start of the study, divorce was associated with consistently worse subsequent health and well-being, including greater loneliness and depression, and lower levels of social integration. There was also somewhat less robust evidence that women who divorced had a 19% higher risk of death for any reason over the 25 years of follow-up than those who stayed married. …
Prior research indicates that marriage promotes men’s longevity and health even more strongly than women’s…
In 2021, for instance, the annual marriage rate reached an all-time low of 28 marriages per 1000 unmarried people, down from 76.5 in 1965, a trend driven both by rapid increases in cohabitation and by even steeper rises in individuals living alone. So too, the U.S. leads the world in the percentage of its children growing up in single-parent homes (23% in 2019, compared to, for example, 12% in Germany). All of these trends are concentrated among poor Americans and people of color, who arguably have the most to gain from the safety net offered by marriage. …[end quote]
Marriage has a dramatic Macroeconomic impact in enhancing the financial well-being of a stable family unit. Spouses can support each other financially and in services when one or the other runs into a setback.
Trends in marriage exacerbate income inequality by improving the financial status of those who already are better-off and undermining the financial status of those who are worse-off.
Previous studies show that:
Highly-educated people are increasingly marrying other highly-educated people.
Highly-educated people have lower divorce rates than lower-educated people.
Divorced women have a dramatic decrease in household income compared with married women. (Obviously because thay are losing their husband’s income.)
Children raised in single-parent households have worse outcomes on many measures.
Lack of affordable child care forces many mothers to stay home. Single moms would be driven into extreme poverty while married moms have a husband to support the family.
Trends in marriage are undermining the Macroeconomic foundations of the U.S. as generational trends lead to lower marriages.