Do you know why marriage is important? Marriage isn’t just about having a wedding and feelings of love. It’s about commitments, selflessness, and looking out for the greater good of others.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’ve been married 10 years.
To some people, marriage for 10 years may seem short. However, for many others, 10 years may be a long time. We know our marriage has outlasted a handful of our friends’ marriage, and a good number of those failed in 1 to 2 years’ time.
I’m sad for those failed marriages because of the blessing my marriage has been to me. And, I genuinely want, for others, the kind of marriage I have.
That’s not to say that my marriage hasn’t been hard, because that wouldn’t be true.
Our marriage has experienced its share of difficulties, but my husband and I both worked through the hard times, remembering that we had to come together as a team to overcome whatever trial we were facing at the time.
That teamwork and staying committed to our marriage vows (plus, putting selfishness aside) has been one of the few lessons I learned in 8 years of marriage.
Because of our continued success in our own marriage, and my desire for others to feel more positively about marriage, I wanted to share a few benefits of marriage.
Plus, I think it’s important to know why marriage is important for more than just our own individual needs to love and be loved. Our marriages play a larger role in our families and in society than we often give much thought to.
As a side note, it’s important to acknowledge that not all marriages are created equal. I understand there are truly unhealthy marriages that aren’t worth pursuing or continuing.
When I discuss why marriage is important, I’m considering healthy, happy marriages that provide benefits greater than the simple act of getting married.
6 Reasons Why Marriage Is Important
Health and Marriage
It’s pretty interesting how many articles there are that discuss the health benefits of marriage.
Of course, one needs to take into account that happy marriages are more likely to produce happy and healthy individuals, so those in unhappy or toxic relationships aren’t likely to see the same health benefits from their own marriages.
Still, according to an article from Harvard Health Publishing
…there is fascinating — and compelling — research suggesting that married people enjoy better health than single people. For example, as compared with those who are single, those who are married tend to
have fewer strokes and heart attacks
have a lower chance of becoming depressed
be less likely to have advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis and more likely to survive cancer for a longer period of time
survive a major operation more often.
In this article, Dr. Shmerling is careful to explain that not all health benefits are simply acquired because one is married, rather, indicates the importance of a healthy marriage that, in turn, lowers cortisol and improves immune function.
This makes a great argument as to why marriage is important, especially for a solid, healthy marriage.
Building Wealth & Healthy Finances
That’s not to say that you won’t have to worry about your finances as a married couple, however, studies suggest that there’s a connection between marriages and building wealth.
From my personal experience in my own marriage, I know that my husband and I are both very supportive and encouraging of each other.
Since we’ve been married, I’ve seen him grow and push for increased income to match his skills and abilities. Though, it’s personal motivation and something he deserves no matter what, he was also motivated by our family status.
As our family grew and I left the workforce to raise our children, he was increasingly motivated to be able to provide for us and maintain the lifestyle he wanted for us all.
Some financial benefits of marriage can be the acquisition of property, tax benefits, and savings on insurance, just to name a few.
Getting your finances in order is usually a top priority, especially when you have children. But it takes responsibility, commitment, hard work, and sometimes good luck. Financial stability usually doesn’t just land in our laps.
Though I don’t believe financial gains are a good reason to get married (I personally believe in marrying for true love), it’s good to know there can be financial benefits.
Children of Married Couples
Aside from personal gains, marriage benefits children!
Children of married parents are usually living above the poverty line, tend to have higher GPAs, and are more emotionally stable with fewer behavioral problems. Unfortunately, research suggests the same cannot be said of children of cohabitating parents.
And, children in healthy, loving homes with married, biological parents can learn to navigate relationships and aim to have a successful marriage for themselves.
Arguably, if you’re planning to have children, these studies offer plenty of logic for the importance of marriage in raising children.
Domestic Violence and Abuse
In the article, Marriage: Still the Safest Place for Women and Children, the author analyzes data from the National Crime Victim Survey (NCVS). In this article, it explains that single mothers are more likely to experience domestic violence and violent crimes at the hands of boyfriends, domestic partners, or intimate acquaintances than are mothers who were married when they had children.
Children of divorced or never-married mothers are six to 30 times more likely to suffer from serious child abuse than are children raised by both biological parents in marriage.2
Have you ever considered the effects of family structure on crime?
In the article (linked above in the question), there are interesting statistics and nice readable graphs that suggest in-tact marriages serve as a stable household with fewer arrests than from broken homes (or fatherless families).
I remember reading an article about a book where the author claimed that the homes where fathers are absent are what’s causing all the crime we have in society. Unfortunately, as I write this, the author’s name and book title escape me. And, now that I’m carving out some time to read (or sneak some reading in during my wait in car line), I’d really be interested in reading the book to learn more.
Similarly, however, I did find another author who was mentioned in an article about the link between fatherless sons (or those with fathers who aren’t active in their lives) and mass shootings. Mr. Farrell insists that boys who grow up in broken homes or those with absent fathers fare worse on over 70 metrics than do boys raised in homes with active fathers. I’d also love to read his book, The Boy Crisis.
Importance of Marriage to Society
Putting it all together, when people believe in and achieve healthy, happy marriages, it stands to reason that marriage is important to society!
Both men and women stand to live longer when they’re in healthy marriages.
Husbands and wives build wealth together and more easily.
Children grow up in stable homes and typically achieve more.
And, women are less likely to be involved in domestic violence when in healthy, loving marriages. This is discussed in more detail in an article, The Necessity of Marriage.
A good marriage can teach children about love, sacrifice, and selflessness, thus developing more emotionally aware and behaviorally stable individuals who will care for others. Not to mention, teaching them what they should expect from their future partners.
How Can Marriage Be Happy and Successful?
You’re probably thinking “Okay, but everyone gets divorced these days. How can I believe in marriage when things get hard and people quit?”
I truly believe that a happy and successful marriage starts with a solid foundation built on honesty, trust, and open communication.
Aside from that, both partners need to understand the common misconceptions about healthy marriage and learn to accept the realities that marriage becomes boring, love changes over time, and that this doesn’t mean you’ve fallen out of love. This is the challenge to find a deeper connection with your partner and to learn to make your marriage exciting, even after kids.
Not only do you have to learn to communicate effectively with your spouse, but it’s also important that both partners learn to compromise, find common ground, and work together to see that the marriage flourishes during tough times.
Stop giving up when things get hard!
I know we rarely think about why marriage is important, but it’s never a bad thing to think about our marriages as something that serves more than just ourselves.
There is value in a marriage that extends beyond love and companionship, but we don’t often think about how marriage benefits others, do we?
What do you think? Is marriage important?
This post, discussing the importance of marriage, originally appeared on this site November 5, 2018 and has been edited to some degree.