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Marriage is Good

A Spiritual Marriage between Husband, Wife and God :)

Marriage is such a popular social institution, but in recent years it has been given a lot of bad press. Here I explore the facts about marriage. Keep reading if you want to know more about the benefits of marriage in "Tie the Knot or Not"....

To Tie the Knot or Not : The Benefits of Marriage
(C) Aaron Schwarz 2012

An Editorial Review of Marriage

The only real cost of marriage is the requirement of both parties to compromise emotionally, socially and financially. 

Everyone Is Unique

No two people think or behave identically, which ultimately gives rise to heterogeneity in subjective appreciation, valuation, and perspective. These differences between people can be a tremendous source of joy and inspiration, but ironically can also form the seeds of intro-personal conflict. Where to go to out to dinner? Where to go on vacation? What color to paint the house? To have children or not; how many? There are many choices that couples face where ultimately a single decision has to be made. 

Compromises Are Essential 

Where both parties do not agree, one party must ultimately bend their will to appease the other party; and it is in these simple choices that we as a people must pick our battles. Ask yourself, Is this or that specific thing really worth getting upset about? Do I really care about this or that thing? I sincerely believe that all relationships could benefit from a simple act; when a disagreement occurs, both parties should step back and ask themselves this question "Is this really worth fighting/ getting upset about?". Certainly there are many political, social and economic issues worth getting upset about, but are these the issues that people get into disagreements over? No, the vast majority of relationship stressors occur over simple meaningless disagreements about arbitrary choices in non-consequential situations whose outcomes have more to do with subjective and ever changing personal preferences than anything else. 

Honesty Is Critical

Honesty is a precondition for a successful relationship of any type, and can thus be seen as a cost. Deceptive manipulative and otherwise untrustworthy people cannot sustain a healthy relationship because their operational cores as individuals are based on self serving priority structures; thinking that is heavily laden with the terms "Me, I, My, and Mine". 

Use Critical Thinking Not Emotions

This brings up another ubiquitous social tool, the second order observer. When you start to have a feeling about something, take a step back inside your mind and observe yourself reacting; then start asking critical questions. Why am I reacting/ acting this way? Why does this make me happy or upset? Do I have a choice to react or feel differently about this situation? Try to frame the situation with wording that does not include yourself- think of the situation as an impartial third party. This tool can cut through emotionally clouded irrational thinking like a hot knife through butter. 

Marriage is Clearly a Win

The benefits of long term marriage are extensive and have been well documented in the literature. To start with both men and women benefit from marriage, respectively living longer, happier, healthier and wealthier lives. Married people are better able to deal with crisis; the loss of a job, a financial hardship, sickness and illness, the loss of a child or pet. 

Married people consume healthier foods, have lower incidence of cardiovascular, endocrine, immune and neurological diseases. (1) 

Married people also exhibit a greater degree of emotional and social fitness. Married people have lower clinical profiles of psychological illness; minor and major depression, anxiety, phobias, and social disorders. (2) 

The mental and physical health benefits of marriage are most attenuated and visible in elderly populations. (3) 

In terms of personal outlook on the world, married people tend to have more positive perspectives. (4) 

It has also been found that married people are better able to successfully stop smoking (nicotine abuse cessation)(5). 

Married people also tend to deal with disability better through mutual social support networks established in the marriage and also through internal emotional support structures within the marriage.(6) 

Married populations have significantly reduced sexually transmitted disease profiles; a benefit derived from long term pair partner disease vector limiting. (7) 

There is a strong positive correlation between education and marriage; where people are far more likely to get married and stay married if they have completed a higher education program. (8) 

Married couples are also more likely to become homeowners. (9) 

There are dozens of books and articles that outline the relationship between marriage and faith, almost all concluded that there are confounding social and cultural aspects to marriage that facilitate and maintain an individual participation and engagement with faith based organizations and activities. (10)(11)

History & The Literature is Clear

It is possible to continue this editorial review and analysis of the modern western marriage in far greater detail, but for the sake of brevity I will conclude by saying that even a cursory examination of the literature available about marriage will show anyone clearly that there is a long list of potential benefits an individual can derive from life by finding a nice partner to pair up with officially through good times and bad, through sickness and in health, to death due them part. 

Outside the Scope of This Exploration 

Notice I said nothing about gender- I believe that gay and straight people can both derive positive social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial benefits from long term pair bonding arrangements like marriage. 

Also note that I did not mention much about the relationships between marriage, reproduction and parenting. My goal in this document was to simply outline some reasons why an individual or "couple ^^" might consider marriage. 

I am not saying that marriage is for everyone and should state that we each need to be very careful about selecting partners. Love should be the guiding motif of your heart but make sure the facts about the other person make sense to your mind as well. You want a partner you can trust, some one that you can enjoy life with, someone that has a different perspective that adds depth and meaning to your life, someone you can openly share with, a best friend that is always there for you, someone that you can love completely in a unique way that exceeds my descriptive capacity. There are a lot of broken, bad, miserable marriages out there, and many more than have already failed. Choose wisely and start as friends. If you like the other person as a friend first, you can always add physical interactions later! Good luck!

I was lucky to find the one that I wish to spend the rest of my life with. I love you Meg!

(1) J. K. Kiecolt-Glaser; T. L. Newton, (2001) Meta Analysis of 64 Studies on Marriage and its Impacts on Individuals from 1990 to 2000 "Marriage and health: His and hers."Psychological Bulletin. Vol 127, No. 4, PP 472-503.

(2) L. A. Lillard. C.W. A. Panis (1996) "Marital Status and Mortality: The Role of Health" Demography, Vol. 33, No. 3 pp. 313-327

(3) M. E. Dupre, A. N. Beck, and S. O. Meadows (2009) "Marital Trajectories and Mortality Among US Adults" American Journal of Epidemiology Vol.170 No. 5, pp. 546 - 555.

(4) J. K. Cooper, Y. Harris, and J. Mcgready (2002) "Sadness Predicts Death in Older People" Journal of Aging Health; Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 509 - 526.

(5) M. M. Franks, A. M. Pienta, and L. A. Wray (2002) "It Takes Two: Marriage and Smoking Cessation in the Middle Years" Journal of Aging Health, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 336 - 354.

(6) S. M. Allen, D. Ciambrone, and L. C. Welch (2000) "Stage of Life Course and Social Support as a Mediator of Mood State among Persons with Disability"
Journal of Aging Health; Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 318 - 341.

(7) J. N. Wasserheit, S. O. Aral (1996) "The Dynamic Topology of Sexually Transmitted Disease Epidemics: Implications for Prevention Strategies" Individual and Population Approaches to the Epidemiology and Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection; The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 174, Supplement 2., pp. S201-S213

(8) C. Pajarita, K. M. Harris (2005) "Why Poor Womem Put Motherhood Before Marriage" Social Forces, Vol. 84, No. 2, pp 1304-1305

(9) P. H. Rossi, E. Weber. (1996) "The Social Benefits of Homeownership: Empirical Evidence from National Surveys" HOUSING POLICY DEBATE -WASHINGTON ; Vol. 7; No. 1, pp 1-36

(10) G.R. Gupta (1974) "Marriage, religion, and society" - Curzon Press
K. Wilber, (1998) "The marriage of sense and soul: Integrating science and religion" - Random House 


  1. I love you Aaron!! I too am just as lucky or rather Blessed ;) to have found You, the man that I will spend the rest of my life with...I appreciate and adore you!

  2. And even in this rare 3:34am hour, I find myself reflecting on how you are an amazing woman, a lovely wife, a genuine friend and spectacular lover. You are everything that I need and want in partner, a best friend, a wife. You are more than I could have ever dreamed of. I love you deeply, and our marriage only reinforces the tenor and conclusion of the article above!