Why Not Getting Married Could Be Detrimental to Your Health

Marriage isn’t easy. No romantic relationship is all good all the time. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether or not certain parts of your relationship you think spell trouble are actually signs you’re doing fine. Many people never get married, deciding it’s the best choice for them — and for their health.

It turns out not getting married could actually be worse for your health than you think. Here are all the reasons getting married might provide a nice health boost.

Married people live longer

Happy senior couple drinking coffee at home

Want a long life? Studies show marriage helps. |  iStock.com

Thinking about staying single? You might have a better chance of staying alive longer if you reconsider, Some research suggests that marriage extends your life.

Studies have found that rates of various diseases among married couples are lower than they are for singles. This obviously isn’t the case for every single couple, whether they’re happy together or not. You’re just more likely to overcome health setbacks with a more intimate level of social support.

Next: Think marriage is too stressful? Think again.

You’ll live with less stress

nervous stressed young woman

Your stress levels may be higher if you choose not to marry. | iStock.com/SIphotography

Enduring the ups and downs of any long-term relationship causes small amounts of stress here and there. Overall, though, research suggests you might deal with less of it if you’re married.

One study found that married participants had lower levels of stress hormones than those who were not married. High stress levels, especially over long periods of time, can increase your risk for chronic health problems, especially heart disease.

Next: Marriage lowers your risk for one of the world’s deadliest diseases.

You’re more likely to survive cancer

Doctor talking to a patient

Cancer is a very real, scary disease. | iStock.com/Minerva Studio

Cancer is one of the most common health issues in the United States. Millions of Americans face new diagnoses every year. Could marriage help prevent you from becoming one of them?

That answer is unclear. However, if you do happen to develop any of the over 200 different types of cancer, you’re more likely to survive if you’re married. That level of much-needed social support significantly increases your chances of entering remission.

Next: You might be surprised to learn this health marker is actually lower if you have a spouse.

You have lower blood pressure

Nurse Visiting Senior Male Patient

Your blood pressure may be at a healthier level. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Do you have a family history of high blood pressure and related health problems? You might be able to save yourself a lot of future health care costs — if you get married, that is.

High blood pressure increases your risk for more than just a heart attack or different types of heart disease. You’re also at an increased risk of developing diabetes, eye problems, and even dementia. A spouse doesn’t guarantee your safety, but you never know.

Next: Trying to make this positive change in your life? It might be easier if you’re married.

You’ll make better lifestyle choices

man and woman crossing the stream barefooted

It’s always good to have an adventure buddy. | iStock.com/jacoblund

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, exercise, or eat less sugar all alone, you know how hard it can be to “get healthy” without an accountability buddy.

People who are married tend to rate their health status higher than people who aren’t. Marriage often makes it easier to make changes, because your established routines might sync up. Heading to the gym at the same time? It’s a lot harder to stay in bed when you know they’re out there getting fit without you.

Next: This part of your body will do its job better if you have a spouse.

You (probably) have a healthier heart

close-up of a man clutching his chest to show a heart attack

Heart issues plague many Americans. | iStock.com

Lower rates of stress and decreased blood pressure among married couples also link to evidence that a happy marriage means a healthier heart.

There are factors that can have the opposite effect. Stressful life events, or one person’s unwillingness to make healthier choices, can worsen your heart health and make it harder for those who are already having heart trouble. Still, the social support factor kicks in — especially when your sex life stays strong.

Next: Sometimes, intimacy improves.

Your sex life improves

Love and mornings

For some, their sex life improves. | iStock.com/domoyega

Do married people really have better sex? Psychotherapist Esther Perel says so. Not every couple can make lust last, but that’s because they’re looking at it the wrong way.

Your relationship with your spouse might not be the only reason your sex life is struggling, though. Many everyday habits — especially the ones you don’t even think twice about — totally kill your sex drive. Everything from overeating to drinking too much caffeine can ruin sex for the both of you.

Next: It’s good for your health, but is it right for you?

Should you get (or stay) married?

Happy bride and groom in winter wedding day.

Is marriage right for everyone? | satura86/iStock/Getty Images

Not everyone’s meant to get married. Some people just can’t stand the thought of being with the same person for the rest of their lives — and that’s OK. Marriage might make your life better, but single people aren’t necessarily worse off.

If you’re already married, there are some signs it might end in divorce¬†— but your health plays an important role no matter what you decide. Your happiness is a better predictor of a long, healthy life than anything else.

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