The Journal of Aging and Health has released data on a study of 9,000 men and women in regards to their health and personal life. The people in the study were the age of 60 and 70 years old, and most of them had been married once. The study confirmed that people who are married are happier, but it also looked at couples who were married several times. The people who married three or more times were a third more likely to die early than the people who married for life; 34% of people married three or more times were more likely to die after the age of 50 years. Researchers reported it could be due to the stress of a bad marriage, the death of a spouse or the movement between multiple relationships showed a recklessness that carried into personal health. Many studies have confirmed that people who are married live longer, and this could be due to numerous reasons. Such reasons could be your social needs being met, a partner who helps care for you, or feeling special to someone exclusively.
Many couples are getting married now at the age of 25 to 30 years of age. If they are successful at staying together, maybe we would be wise to teach couples how to be a better spouse before marriage. Instead of a simple blood test, maybe a mandatory class or workshop addressing anger, financial conflicts or in-laws would help. Since the bride's family traditionally pays for the wedding, maybe the groom's family could step up and pay for the pre-marital classes. We put so much focus on the wedding, engagement, and the birth of new children. Often we forget that the back bone of this union is going to be determined on how well the couple can resolve conflict.
Marriage is sacred, and I believe it is one of the greatest institutions we have available. However, if you are in a dysfunctional marriage you can live hell on earth. At that point saying you should stay in it to be healthy would be ludicrous. Marital counseling can help, but it is not as effective as pre-marital counseling and education could be. Couples don't think about it, because when they are getting ready for their marriage they don't want to anticipate the inevitable conflicts. It takes parents to bring this up, and offer it as a gift to the couple. It never hurts to understand your spouse more. Below I have listed a few ideas to go over with your fiancée' prior to marriage. The more of these you address now, the better your chances are for being married forever. If you are getting ready to marry number three it may be wise to address these prior to tying the knot.
1. Marriage ensures I won't be lonely.
2. Marriage means we will maintain a close relationship until we are parted by death.
3. With marriage I am legally able to have sanctioned and readily available sex.
4. We will create an extended family. That means my family (mom, dad, sisters, brothers) will all be taken care of by us.
5. This marriage means we will have kids and create our own marriage.
6. My partner will help take care of and motivate me to take care of myself.
7. How comfortable am I in exposing my feelings, limitations, and childish attitudes to my partner? Whatever I tell my partner they will embrace.
8. How comfortable am I with closeness? If I need distance, my partner will understand.
9. How much of my love for my partner is actually fear of being on my own?
10. I expect my partner to be there 100% financially.
11. How will my partner feel when they see my reaction to anger?
12. What am I willing to reveal to my partner in regards to how I feel about new sexual experiences?
13. How big of a gap is there with education between my spouse and I? Will this be a problem?
14. How do I really feel about my partner's family?
15. Do we actually have parallel lives making our relationship somewhat superficial?
16. If either of us has an affair, is it is always best to be honest and tell the other spouse?
17. We both love kids and will accept however many we have. (Be sure you discuss this one before you get pregnant.)
There are of course many reasons marriages fail. If I have heard it once, I have heard it a million times; "He changed," or, "I never saw that side of her." We don't see what we don't want to see. Communicate, share, and stay open is my best advice to stay married until death do you part.
More from Hybrid Mom:
Top 8 Things That Will Ruin Your Relationship
Knowing When to Let Go of a Marriage
10 Reasons Couples Therapy May Not Work for You
7 Habits That Hurt Your Marriage
14 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Happy
10 Little Things You Can Do To Make Your Marriage Run Smoothly