Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

What You Know About Marriage That the NY Times Does Not

If you include in your study only the people who are likely to give you the results you want, that’s not science. Almost all studies of the implications of marital status for health and happiness do just that. Read More

My own experience

As one excluded from such studies on the basis of having gotten married and hated it, I can definitely say that marriage was bad for my blood pressure and my health in general. For one thing, my ex loved huge servings of meat-and-potatoes fare and hated the light, healthy things I liked, so guess what made it to the table.
Years ago I had a car accident in which I sustained a severe case of whiplash. I struggled with chronic neck pain for years after that. The day I knew I had to leave my marriage, I was at work and my husband called me, and seconds after I heard his voice, my neck tension became unbearable, and I realized this was a pattern. I knew I'd never recover from the neck injury as long as I refused to heal my life.
Ironically, just as my neck started to feel fantastic, I was hit by a car while riding my bike and I look back on the days of mere neck pain as kid stuff. But I'm still happier now than I was back then.

People who are healthier are more likely to get married

The richer and better educated one is, the more likely they will marry. Therefore, it stands to reason that married people will be healthier and have lower blood pressure at bedtime.

The government is convinced that marriage is the best way to be, and these goofy biased studies shore up the government's assumptions. The government, in turn, thinks it is encouraging marriage by giving extra benefits to those that married, when all it is really doing is providing benefits to people who are already doing quite well in life.

The cycle continues.

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Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.

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