Healthy Living

Do Married Men Live Longer?

When an engaged couple announces their proposal, they will hear many congratulations, and then they will hear the “don’t do it, it’s a trap” jokingly said from one of their friends.

Luckily, there are plenty of cute marriage quotes ready to be placed on a sign anywhere in a newlywed couples house.

I will be getting married soon and while pondering the idea of marriage, many questions arise. Is marriage a trap? Does marriage play a role in overall health? Who will live longer?

Is Marriage a Trap?

Sacrifices are sure to come with any marriage, and there will be a lot of them made from both partners. Successful marriages require partners to work hard, avoid cheating or lying, spend more time with family and make an effort.

Good spouses are emotionally present day in and day out. Being a good partner isn’t always easy. To no surprise these sacrifices pay for themselves and more. A 2017 study shows married men live longer, have better sex and make more money.

All marriages will face trials; it is genuinely challenging to juggle going to work, maintaining the home and raising children. When communicate with our spouse what we want, we avoid dangerous conflicts that can lead to an unhappy marriage trap.

AARP surveyed 1147 men and women ages 40-79 who went through a divorce in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, and found that 66% of women initiated the split. If women are the ones initiating divorce, then marriage might not be worth the trouble for women.

Does Marriage Play a Role in Overall Health?

According to a study published in Cancer, married people may survive cancer longer than single people. The study analyzed data from nearly 800,000 men and women of various races and 10 different types of cancer between the year 2000 to 2009.

The authors of the study speculate that social support offered through spouses; making doctor’s appointments, providing companionship, offering reassurance and encouraging their partners to take their medications might explain these results.

In the studies that have been done, being married appears to be more beneficial for men. It is speculated that marriage will benefit people physically and psychologically.

The theory is that wives encourage married men to keep physically fit, eat healthier and visit the doctor on a regular basis. Women value being in a relationship and it is believed that they benefit emotionally when they are married.

Happy marriages are where the benefits begin. In another study, results showed happily married couples benefit from improved health and couples unhappy in their relationship were more likely to suffer from poor health.

While married men reap more benefits from marriage, married women tend to adopt healthier lifestyles than otherwise similar singles.

Marriage can even impact mental health. A general social survey done from 2000-2014 showed that 43% of married men were “very happy” with life, while only 20% of single men and 21% of men cohabiting reported being “very happy”.

On the contrast, only 6% of married men responded, “not happy”, compared to 17% of single men and 16% of cohabiting men. Happily married men, who stay married, live about 10 years longer than unmarried men.

Having an encouraging and supportive partner can keep you healthy. This is because you have a partner to make health-conscious decisions with and this kind of support is beneficial to mental health as well.

Who Will Live Longer?

These days women are outliving men by about five to six years. There factors that explain female longevity; having two “X” chromosomes provides women with a backup when genetic mutations occur in genes, the effect of estrogens on the lipids in the blood, differences in the brain and the increased risks associated with male behaviors.

While married men may live longer and are happier than single men. Married women will typically outlive a married man, a single man, and a single woman.

Females of most species tend to live longer than males, this phenomenon could be the explanation for the differences deep within our biology.  This could possibly be the science behind humans living forever, or at least longer.

Sure enough, biology has a lot to do with why women live longer than men. With humans, and most animal species, the condition of the female body is important for successful reproductions. The male’s reproductive role is less directly dependent on his continued good health.

Happily, Ever After

Men benefit from marriage more than women, but women are going to live longer no matter what. Do not rush into a wedding just to live longer though, being happily married is far better for the health than being unhappily married.

Getting married could be the best thing a man ever does for his wallet and his health. For women, according to experts, they can take it or leave it. Either way, the best thing anyone can do is build strong support networks with their family and friends.

Photo by Bruce Mars

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