01 Jul The Marriage Incentive
by Tashica Jacobson
There are many benefits that come from marriage. The couple, the children and even society is influenced by marriage. In a study of unhappily married couples, those who stayed together were happily married five years later. (Waite, 2002). While there may be difficult times in a marriage and sometimes divorce is necessary, marriage is an institution that should be fought for and preserved at all costs.
A low conflict marriage is the healthiest relationship for children to be raised in. It is the safest for them, and the best for their development. Children raised in traditional families have better emotional and physical health. This relationship also provides children with a role model for their lives. They know how a marriage works and so they will have realistic expectations about their own. They engage in less risky behavior such as drug and alcohol use, sex, and are less likely to attempt or commit suicide.
The society also benefits from marriage. Since marriage decreases violence and risky behaviors in children, communities are safer. There are less out of wedlock births and sexually transmitted diseases in those that are married and their children. Married people are also more likely to be involved in their community. This includes voting and volunteering (Family Research Council, 2012).
Marriage also benefits the couple. They have better emotional and physical health. They also have a better and more fulfilling sex life. John Gottman found that a happy marriage benefits the immune system, and divorce can actually shorten an individual’s life (Gottman 1999).
Married couples have lower levels of depression. This is due to the emotional benefits that come from marriage. Marriage provides a positive support in your life. A couple has a shared emotional life, companionship, and assistance. These things protect against loneliness, and anxiety (Horn, 2012).
Marriage has also been called a wealth institution. Since married couples are more likely to have wealth. This is contributed to the fact that married men earn more, work more, and obtain better paying jobs. Other factors also play into this like discrimination in favor of married men (Brotherson, 2012). Married men earn on average about 22% more (Family Research Council).
Many have tried to debate that cohabitation offers these same benefits but it doesn’t. Cohabitation is the most violent environment and the most dangerous for children (Fagan, 1997). Marriage requires a higher level of commitment that benefits the relationship. It causes the couple to look at the marriage as a long term thing, this allows them to work together and be more prepared (Horn, 2012).
“However researchers find in study after study that marriage itself, and particularly good marriages are protective physically, financially, and psychologically and the longer one stays married, the more benefits occur” (Brotherson, 2010).
Marriage has been described as a living thing. And like a human life it needs to be protected and healed. It has been said “If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages” (Oaks, 2007).
Brotherson, Laura M. (2010). The beneficial effects of marriage. Fagan, Patrick F. (1997). The child abuse crisis: the disintegration of marriage, family and the America community. The Heritage Foundation. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1997/05/bg1115-the-child-abuse-crisis
Fagan, Patrick F. (1997). The child abuse crisis: the disintegration of marriage, family and the America community. The Heritage Foundation. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1997/05/bg1115-the-child-abuse-crisis
Family Facts. (2012). Benefits of Marriage. Heritage Foundation. http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/1/the-benefits-of-marriage
Gottman, John. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work.
Horn, E. E. Xu, Y. Beam, C. R. Turkheimer, E. Emery, R. E. (2012). Accounting for the physical and mental health benefits of entry into marriage: a genetically informed study of selection and causation. Journal of Family Psychology.
Oaks, Dallin H.(2007).Divorce. Liahona
The benefits of marriage. (2012). Family Research Council. Retrieved fromhttp://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS05B01
Waite, Linda J. Browning, Don. Doherty, William J. Gallagher, Maggie. Luo, Ye. Stanley, Scott M. (2002). Does divorce make people happy: findings from a study of unhappy marriages. Institution for America Values. http://fmmh.ycdsb.ca/teachers/F00027452/F00027453/mfdivor.pdf