Getting married is a joyous time for couples. They commit to a lifetime together and dream of all the future holds. Marriage can also be a stressful experience as life changes drastically, but many people believe married couples are happier.
Society portrays marriage as a necessity for couples, leading many people to believe it’s the ultimate life goal. However, it can be complicated, and a happy partnership requires choosing the right person for you.
The idea of why married couples are happier is still up for debate because experts can’t agree on the reasoning. While some studies show that being married brings happiness, others show that a variety of factors make you happy.
The Science Behind Happiness of Married Couples
A psychologist from the University of Denver conducted a study about married couples being happier. With the help of his colleagues, the study followed 168 people who were engaged to be married. The study showed their journey from engagement to married life, helping experts understand the happiness factor.
While some evidence supports the idea that married couples are happier, it’s not simple. It turns out that couples living together without being married can have the same level of happiness. The key is to have a healthy relationship rather than lingering in unfulfilling ones.
During the two-year study, participants were surveyed every two months about their:
- General health
- Alcohol use
- Life satisfaction
- Psychological distress
The survey helped experts identify physical or mental changes leading to the participant’s wedding day. They also monitored changes after the wedding. The reported changes indicated that couples aren’t always happier after the wedding, further confusing the discussion.
This study shows that there’s more to a happy couple than a legal certificate. The reason people believe that married couples are happier can bring enlightenment to the situation, though. It’s not the marriage that creates a happy life, it’s all about the health and positivity of your relationship.
Further studies show that people who remain single experience steeper drops in happiness. Since they have decreased happiness levels, married couples seem even more joyful together. Knowing why married couples seem happier can help you find the same joy in your relationship.
Why Married Couples Are Happier
1. Married Couples Share Commitment, Intimacy, and Trust
Getting married teaches couples the importance of committing to one another and establishing trust. If you treasure your partner, you won’t want to succumb to temptation and ruin what you have. The way you feel about your partner brings happiness, whereas couples who don’t commit are unhappy.
It implies the promise that neither of you will betray your partner by going behind their back to do things. You won’t lie to them or ask others to keep things from them, or it can cause unhappiness and conflict.
Marriage also brings about a deeper level of intimacy. It gives a sense of comfort, allowing you to be who you are without judgment. You can be honest and vulnerable without disrupting your sense of peace.
2. Married Couples Enjoy Security
Getting married is a process, and it’s legally binding. The endeavor makes the partners less likely to walk away when things get complicated. It brings a sense of solidarity and security that being unmarried doesn’t allow.
3. They Have Someone Who Accepts Them
Getting married implies that each partner accepts the other for who they are. They don’t want to change their partner and enjoy their partner’s personality. When people feel accepted, they tend to be happier, making others think it leads to happiness.
4. Financial Improvement
While money isn’t everything, having another income in your home is nice. Having a partner gives you someone to help out with the finances, easing your burden. Without the stress of financial problems, you’ll likely be happier.
5. More Support and Encouragement
Couples can provide support and encouragement in ways that other people can’t. Knowing you have someone by your side and giving you the strength to persevere can be empowering. They’re there for you no matter what comes your way, and that’s a feeling that doesn’t compare to anything else.
You won’t feel alone when struggling or hurting when you’re in a healthy relationship. You always have your person to share things with, good or bad. They’ll help you work through your emotions and offer another perspective.
6. Married Couples Can Get More Done
Being married allows you to divide up activities and get more done. You can share responsibilities and split up activities such as:
- Family activities
- Household chores
- Community events
- Planning leisure activities
- Driving children to and from school or sports
When you divide these activities, it relieves stress for both of you. It also allows you to embrace more leisure activities.
7. Marriage Allows for a Strong Family Unit
You can build a strong family unit with your partner, embracing the journey as you go. A healthy relationship involves couples who think for the benefit of their family rather than being selfish.
Studies show that absent parents cause mental and behavioral issues in children. So, having both parents present can improve your child’s well-being. This information doesn’t imply that you can’t co-parent successfully because you can as long as both parents are actively involved.
When both partners are happy, the family unit strengthens. If you have kids, it also solidifies their view and perspective of a strong family unit. You’ll notice happiness and fulfillment as you continue your relationship and build a healthy family.
8. Deep Friendship
Having a deep friendship with your partner is one of the reasons married couples are happier. Experts from the National Bureau of Economics Research explain that people who consider their partner their best friend are more optimistic than others. People who have a best friend outside of the relationship don’t experience the same joy in their relationship.
This study showed that the results were the same for married couples or long-term partners living together. If you live with your best friend and share your life with them, it’s easy to find happiness. It brings emotional closeness, trust, and understanding from someone who understands your personality and values.
9. It Is the Ultimate Act of Love
When you love someone, you can envision a happy future with them. Marriage lets your partner know you want to take the next step with them. It’s one of the best ways to show your partner how much you love them. Plus, it shows you’re ready for a committed relationship with respect and love.
10. Marriage Promotes Physical and Psychological Health
Married couples encourage one another to live healthier. They speak up about irregular or unhealthy eating or drinking habits. Improving these lifestyle habits promotes better overall health. Regular meals, healthy drinking habits, and trusted social groups lead to improved changes.
11. They’re Already Happy
When happy people enter a healthy relationship, it leads to a happy relationship. Happy people attract other like-minded people, often resulting in a pleasant experience.
Plus, if people get married, it typically implies they’re happy together. So, once they join in marriage, they add to the idea that married couples are more comfortable because they came into the relationship that way.
Unhappy couples aren’t as likely to get married, meaning they aren’t considered in this topic. It can skew the results, making it seem like marriage leads to happiness.
12. People Recognize Your Relationship
Many people don’t recognize a relationship unless you get married. People in long-term relationships may hear negative comments about their relationship. While a long-term relationship can be just as strong, not everyone sees it that way. It causes tension and stress within the romance, potentially leading to arguments.
13. It Distracts You from Unpleasant Thoughts
Experts say that people are happier when they’re talking and being intimate. Spending time with your partner and investing in your relationship brings happiness. Resting and relaxing doesn’t encourage the same level of joy because your mind can wander to unpleasant experiences.
14. Married Couples Often Have an Active Social Life
Getting married can bring out your social side, improving that part of your life. You always have someone to go out with, so you don’t have to ask around to make plans. You’ll always have fun because you’re going out with your best friend. Plus, you’ll be confident enough to socialize with new people with them by your side.
Your partner can also improve your social life by bringing their relationships to your partnership. Expanding your social circle, you’ll meet and get close to their friends and loved ones. This improved social life brings a source of happiness that many people don’t always recognize.
Final Thoughts on Reasons Married Couples Are Happier
If a marriage involves the reasons mentioned above, both partners are likely happy to be together. However, long-term relationships with couples living together can produce the same results as happily married couples.
While getting married can make you happier, you must be in the right relationship. An unhealthy partnership will deplete you of joy, doing the opposite of what a marriage should involve.
Remember that you can be happy if you’re single, in a long-term relationship, or married. While some information shows that married couples are happier, it has more to do with a healthy relationship.