Why is everyone obsessed with getting married? The research consistently proves that happily married people live longer, get sick less frequently, suffer from lower rates of depression, commit suicide less often, and report that they are happier than people who are unmarried. But, here’s the catch: all of these benefits go out the window when you’re in an unhappy marriage. Individuals who are unhappily married or in the process of divorce get sick more frequently, and report less happiness than single people.Therein lies the problem. Getting married is one of the best things we can do for our happiness and our longevity; unless of course it doesn’t work out, in which case it has the opposite effect.
So before we go wild trying to find “the one” and get hitched, here’s a summary on the effects of marriage: Being married is better than being single, but being single is much better than being unhappily married. So rushing into marriage? Not such a hot idea! It seems that we’re eager to reap the so-called benefits of marriage, but not so eager to wait for the right mate, and put in the hard work that is required to make marriage last! Having a happy marriage is a full-time job. It is a job that comes with some of the greatest benefits in the world, but it is a job nonetheless.
In order to have the type of marriage we dream about, and decry celebrities for failing to achieve, we must be excited about the benefits AND the work. If you’re not excited about the work, then perhaps you should re-think your enthusiasm about marriage and enjoy single life for a while! And while you’re at it, give your favorite divorced celeb a break; they are surely happier and healthier now that they’re single. We’re quick to judge the folks who give up on their marriage “too quickly,” but keep in mind that it takes two to tango! Demi more can go to couples counseling and read marriage books all day long, but if Ashton’s not into it, the relationship will never work. Furthermore, it is my personal and professional opinion that some people just marry the wrong person. It’s that simple. It wouldn’t matter how damn hard they worked with the therapist, or how many new religions they studied together, or how talented either partner was in bed – the relationship was doomed because both partners have deeply held values that cannot peacefully coexist.
So given the high instance of divorce and the risk associated with unhappy marriage, what do we do? Well first, do not marry the wrong guy! There are a number of very important questions enamored couples forget to ask before getting married. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions of someone you may sign an agreement to love for the rest of your life. Talk about religion, talk about family, talk about money, talk about housework, talk about sexism, talk about everything you need, want, and don’t want to do! And while living together pre-marriage is unnecessary, I do suggest taking an extended vacation with your potential mate. The truth is, you may still end up marrying the wrong person. Some partners never spill the beans about themselves until it’s too late, and some partners evolve into strange new animals that we didn’t sign-on to cherish. If that’s the case, once the chord is cut realize that you ARE better off alone, than unhappy with someone else. Also, most of the population is right there with ya!
The second thing we should do is learn to enjoy single life! Remember, you’re better off single than unhappily hitched and even if married people are statistically happier – that number is just an average. Aim to be the single girl that’s happier than all those married bitches! Do your thing. Enjoy life. Don’t stress about finding some dude to marry you, divorce is very expensive.
Finally, if and when you do find a man that absolutely adores you and your quirks, get to know everything about him. More importantly, let him in on all your “dirty little secrets.” Fight with him, have fun with him, introduce him to your family, go on a trip together, and clean the bathroom together. And if, after all that, you still want to marry this guy; and he still absolutely adores you. Get ready to work! Marriage is a deeply rewarding job, but there are loads of rewarding jobs out there. If marriage isn’t a job that you want, you’ve got plenty of other options sister!
SPECIAL THANKS to Sara Oliveri for this great post!
Sara specializes in relationship, family, and quality of life consulting. Sara is one of less than 300 people in the world to earn her Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology – the scientific study of optimal human functioning.
With her powerful background as a wellness coach and positive psychology practitioner, Sara equips individuals to build resilient families & relationships and to achieve their highest quality of life. Sara also coaches managers and executives to create an environment where employees work at peak productivity while building strong relationships.
Described by her clients as wise, practical, and inspirational, Sara empowers clients to create satisfying lives and strong relationships. Visit www.saraoliveri.com for more!