Monday, February 18, 2013

Who Benefits More from Marriage?

Who benefits more from marriage? I am a big romance novel fan, especially the historical romance. The main goal in these tales is for the women to snag the right man to jumpstart their lives.  That’s why I was shocked when Scarlet O’Hara said, “Marriage, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men you mean.”

As a beautiful, wealthy single woman, her responsibilities included little more than dancing, flirting, and changing outfits. As a married woman, she would run the household, be the mother, nurse on duty, and social hostess. It was easy to see why Scarlet might not what to give up her lifestyle.

I researched various scholarly journals, surveys, and blogs about marriage to get data. I always assumed women got the better deal. Why else would females scheme in both movies and books to get the man to propose? When women didn’t work, or have an education, it was beneficial having a man support them. Most women are now self-supporting, making it that much easier to walk away when a marriage doesn’t pan out.

Therefore, what are the benefits? I found each sex perceived the other as having all the benefits. The results I managed to cobble together came from Men’s Health magazine, Dr. Waite (medical doctor), Dr. Porshe Hunt (sociologist), and Dr. Obie Clayton (Sociologist), MSN Money site and Carolyn Monihan (a blogger.)

Benefits for Men

Helps you live longer

Helps you beat cancer

Keeps you out of trouble

More quality sex

Increases your pay

Speeds up your next promotion/wives support career advancement

Less household duties

More happiness

More defined purpose

Being divorced doubles the rate of suicide in men

Married men are more likely to stop smoking

Benefits for Women

Less postpartum depression

Less risk of cardio vascular disease and type 2 diabetes

Less risky behavior

Fewer issues with alcoholism



Dual Benefits

Lower car insurance

Better credit rating

Better loan options

Combined expenses

Share employer benefits

Increased financial stability

Good mental health

Single people spend twice the amount of time in the hospital as married people do

I noticed some of the intangible benefits weren’t listed, such as when you think you hear someone breaking into the house. When you live alone, you have two choices, investigate or lay awake in fear all night. When married, you wake up your spouse who tells you it’s the neighbor or the wind and you go back to sleep. That might be under good mental health.

I came across a couple of interesting theories in the reading of benefits or lack of them. One was the movies, songs, and books are to get females in a state where they want to get married. If society didn’t put the slant for women to get married, then they wouldn’t. When a guy doesn’t marry he’s a player, but a woman is a rejected loser. Why is that?

One commenter put it succinctly by saying the person who benefits is the one who invests the least. We like to believe marriage is an equal partnership, but often there is one person who loves and gives more. The person who loves and does less gets the maximum benefit. The same person also calls it quits when things don’t suit.

As for who benefits the most, I think it depends on the people in the marriage. Personally, I think I benefit the most in my marriage. Still, I am hoping my husband thinks he benefits the most. 


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