The Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that the share of American adults who have never been married is at a record high (20 percent), particularly among young adults as reported by the University of Utah (2017)
However, being married offers many benefits, some of which are more beneficial for men than women. Read on to find out how the following benefits can enhance your health, wealth and general well-being.
Increase in your salary
A Virginia Commonwealth University study found that married men earn 22% more than their single work colleagues with similar experience. Married women earn 4% more than their single female colleagues but earn up to 20% less than their married male counterparts. Despite the current economic climate there is still this notion that most men are the breadwinners even though statistics show that two thirds of women are either the sole breadwinner or co bread winner.
According to Sarah Jane Glynn, a policy analyst for the Centre for American Progress this may be due to unconscious biases by employers towards married men. It may be that men are not being rewarded with higher incomes but that they are putting off getting married until they start earning more money.
It could also be speculated that women are not attracted to men with low incomes and single men do not become desirable marriage material until they are earning large salaries. Men with higher salaries are more likely to get married because they feel financially secure to support a wife and family.
Before 1970 women benefited financially from being married but, according to the Economics of Marriage, a study conducted by Pew research Centre found that the trend has reversed and men are now benefiting financially from being married because women have surpassed men both in education and earnings. More women are working, therefore taking some of the financial burden off men.
Increase your chances of promotion
A 2005 study by Cerman and Kaya found that married men received higher performance ratings and faster promotions than bachelors. This also applied to men engaged to be married too. The married naval personnel were also found to have higher fitness ratings and were more likely to stay in their jobs.
A recent survey found that a third of women remove their wedding and engagement rings for a job interview or at work because they fear that it will jeopardise their chances of getting the job or promotion. The reasons cited for this is that their potential employer may see them as someone requiring time off to get married or that they will be settling down to start a family.
Avoid being physically assaulted
A study by Mazur & Booth (1997) found that single men are more likely than married men to face confrontations and challenges. They found that single men have higher levels of testosterone, making them more competitive and aggressive. Without the support of a spouse they are more likely to be involved in situations where they must watch their own back, acting defensively and protect themselves by adopting combative postures, both bodily and facially. The study found that levels of testosterone rose during these situations.
The researchers suggests that testosterone levels decrease with marriage because the act of marriage is often the culmination of a more gradual courtship and engagement when the man gains the support of his spouse and thus removes himself from the competitive environment in which he operates with his friends.
Have more sex
Picture this: A couple finish watching Sherlock and go up to bed, she puts on her fleecy sheep covered pyjamas, tell him she has a headache, they both move to opposite sides of the bed and go to sleep. The stereotypical image of married life is outdated as the statistics show a completely different story.
According to a survey by the Kinsey Institute, 85% of married couples have sex at least once a month compared with 35% of singletons. Another study featured in The Lancet in 2006 found that about 40% of married couples have sex twice a week compared to 20-25% of single people and cohabiting couples.
There are several reasons for this.
- 10,000 hours: Malcolm Gladwell introduces his 10,000 hours in his book, Outliers, as the secret to success, whatever it may be, is practice, practice, practice. So the more sex you have, the better you will become.
- No condoms: Married couples use contraception but are more likely to use other forms of protection, therefore ditch the condoms as they feel they can trust their partners. For the single person, condoms are an essential!
- Fantasy trust: You are more likely to confess your fantasy to your spouse because you trust them. They may even indulge you or not. For the single person, you may come across as being a bit weird or odd if you divulge what turns you on on the first date!
- The grass is always greener: Occasionally we yearn for the single life but when you are single, sex is sporadic whereas married couples have it on tap.
- No fear of rejection: Many of us secretly fear rejection. As a single person, we never know if our feelings are going to reciprocated. When you get married, this anxiety disappears.
- You know their body: No awkward fumblings in marriage, you know your way around each other’s bodies whereas the first date fumblings can be completely off putting.
- It must be love: When you love someone, the sex is better.
The health benefits of being married for men are numerous and include being cared for during times of illness, better nutrition, a home environment that reduces stress and stress related illnesses, encouragement of healthier behaviour and discouragement of smoking and excessive drinking. Men are more likely to take care of their health, having medicals and well man checks being encouraged to so so by their spouses. Women’s health improves when married, especially risks of heart disease and heart attack but declines if it is an unhappy marriage or it brings conflict.
One drawback to being married is that some couples are more likely to gain weight together because they exercise less and eat bigger portions of food.
Researchers at the Indiana University Medical found that married cancer patients had a higher survival rate than unmarried patients with 63.3% living 5 years after diagnosis and 57.5% living after 10 years.
A study by Oxford University (2014) found that married women are 28% less likely to die from heart disease than unmarried women even though being married makes no difference to developing heart disease in the first place. Reasons for this may be that their partners encourage them to seek earlier medical advice for symptoms.
New research from Aston University and the University of East Anglia (2016) found that being married could improve your likelihood of surviving a heart attack by 14% and is associated with reduced length of hospital stay by 2 days on average.
Research published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry in Marriage (2017) concluded that marriage may lower the risk of developing dementia. This was based on data from 15 relevant studies published up to the end of 2016. These looked at the potential role of marital status on dementia risk, and involved more than 800,000 participants from Europe, North and South America, and Asia.
This may be due to partners encouraging each other to lead healthier lifestyles, including exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and smoking and drinking less, all of which have been associated with lower risk of dementia, in addition to having more opportunities to socialise, a factor that has been linked to better health and lower dementia risk.
The current government plans to give a tax break to married couples but only if they earn under £42,000. This is a very contentious issue and has caused much debate.
“Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning – I might have it every day, but I still enjoy it.” – Stephen Gaines