Married people experience overwhelming benefits in physical and mental health, personal safety, and sexual intimacy.
- Married life is associated with greater physical health and lower rates of injury, illness and disability. The health benefits to married people are particularly great for men, who are more physically fit and less prone to disease and disability. (Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences, p.25, and Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles, Witherspoon Institute, 2006, p.20) Married persons are twice as likely to report being very happy when compared to divorced or never-married adults.
- Married people have longer life expectancies than unmarried peers. (Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles, p.20)
- Rates of alcohol and substance abuse are reduced among married persons. (Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences, p.24). Married men have especially lower risks of alcohol and drug addictions (Linda Waite, Does Marriage Matter?, p.468)
- Married persons are twice as likely to report being very happy when compared to divorced or never-married adults. (General Social Survey, National Opinion Research Center, 1998)
- Just 7% of married Americans say they are “not too happy” with life in general, compared to 13% of singles, 18% of the divorced, and 27% of those currently separated. (Brad Wilcox, Marriage and Mental Health in Adults and Children, Center for Marriage and Families Research, 2007)
- Married women enjoy particularly high rates of mental health benefits. This includes a significantly lower degree of depression and suicide. (Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences, p.28, and Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles, p.20)
- Divorce increases the risk of suicide. Divorced men and women are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide compared to their married peers. (Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences, p.29)
- Marriage normally decreases the likelihood that a woman will be abused. Only 5% of married women report domestic abuse compared to 14% of cohabiting women. (L. Waite and E. Lehrer, The Benefits from Marriage and Religion in the U.S.: A Comparative Analysis, Population & Development Review, Vol. 29, No. 2, June 2003, p. 261)
- Marriage appears to reduce the risk that adults will be either perpetrators or victims of crime. Single and divorced women are four to five times more likely than married women to be the victims of violent crime. Unmarried men are four times as likely as married men to become victims of violent crime. (Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences, p.30)
- Married couples have more meaningful sexual relationships. They have sex as frequently as cohabiting couples, but report higher emotional satisfaction in their sexual relationships. (Linda Waite, Does Marriage Matter? p.491)