Here's How Marriage Affects Your Health

Despite millennials choosing to forego the whole marriage thing, numerous studies have found that there are many benefits to getting married. Here’s another one. A new study has found that marriage can lead to a reduction in alcohol abuse among young adults. As the study found, it's all thanks to a little thing called growing-the-eff-up.

The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Missouri and Arizona State University, began with a collection of data from a previous, long-term, on-going study on familial alcohol disorders. The researchers took that data and analyzed how participants changed from the time they were 18 to the time they hit 40-years-old, as well as, whether or not marriage affected any changes. About 50 percent of the participants were reported to being children of alcoholic parents.

Previous research on the issue found that alcohol-based problems decrease as people age. As we age, we must mature into certain roles as adults. For example, when a guy hits 28-years-old, he can no longer be the 18-year-old frat boy drinking until two in the morning. As a 28-year-old, he is now a career man, maybe a husband, and even a father. Because of that, the choices he’s made in the past in regards to his partying and alcohol use need to fit into his role changes from being a frat boy to career/family man.

This study, in particular, built on previous research and found that marriage can significantly cause a decrease in alcohol intake for people with even the most severe drinking problems. As Dr. Matthew Lee, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU said in the study:

“A key conceptual framework psychologists use to explain maturing out and the 'marriage effect' is role-incompatibility theory. The theory suggests that if a person's existing behavioral pattern is conflicting with the demands of a new role, such as marriage, one way to resolve the incompatibility is to change behavior. We hypothesized that this incompatibility may be greater for more severe drinkers, so they'll need to make greater changes to their drinking to meet the role demands of marriage."

According to a 2004 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, married adults were found to be less likely to smoke, drink heavily, or not exercise.

While it's widely known that millennials are more about cohabitation than marriage, there are so many benefits to getting married, and I’m not just talking taxes. Here are four:

1. Married People Live Longer

Here’s one good reason for tying the knot: married couples live longer and healthier lives than single people. In a 2012 study, researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Cincinnati studied the national health survey data consisting of about 200,000 people from 1997 to 2004. It was found that the mortality rate for men in cohabiting relationships dropped by 80 percent in comparison to single men, while the rate for women dropped 59 percent.

2. Marriage Makes You Healthier

According to, married women have better physical and mental health than single or divorced women. Married women reported to having less stress on all accounts from their jobs to their children to their finances and to their relationships.

A study released earlier this year by researchers from the Institute of Education at University College London studied 9000 people and found that men greatly benefited from marriage. According to the study, divorced men experience a decline in their health post-divorce, and single men are more likely to partake in unhealthy behaviors such as skipping breakfast and drinking until late hours because there’s no one to go home to and no one to keep them in check.

3. Marriage Makes You Smarter

According to Kevin A. Thompson, a writer, public speaker, and lead pastor of the Community Bible Church, marriage can increase one’s individual knowledge. As Thompson wrote on his blog, “It’s not that it makes the individual so much smarter, but it doubles the storage capacity they have because they can access their spouse’s brain at any moment.”

Just by having another person around, you’ll be able to easily tap into resources that you may not have if you’re single.

4. Marriage Makes You Happier

A 2014 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “those who marry are more satisfied than those who remain single.” Apparently, friendship is the reason behind that. If people see their spouse as being their best friend, they are much more likely to be satisfied in their relationship, and much happier, overall, with their lives.

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