As much as television, movies, and other media make fun of marriage, most married people seem to enjoy the emotional benefits marriage brings. A healthy marriage doesn’t hold you back. It isn’t an automatic sentence to a life-time of nagging, and it won’t stop you from accomplishing your dreams, like the stereotypes say.
Instead, studies have shown that married people live happier lives than unmarried people regardless of where they live. Why? What creates the magic?
How can you get an emotionally healthy marriage: 10 Tips You Need to Know for an Emotionally Healthy Marriage
Companionship is the secret
Companionship is the secret sauce for a happy life. Adam lived in the garden alone, and God looked at him and said that it was not good for man to be alone, so he created the woman.
Like Adam, God doesn’t want us to face life alone, and marriage is the best way to create a strong bond of companionship with another human being.
Eve was the perfect counterpart to Adam. The same, yet different in so many ways. It wasn’t just the physical qualities that made her different. There was a unique way about the way she talked, moved, thought, and responded. God created her strengths to balance Adam’s weaknesses were her strengths, and vice versa.
It’s easy to focus on the things that make your marriage seem deficient. The issues that people dwell on that make marriage look bad tend to be rooted in selfishness.
You can create a marriage worth celebrating, even out of one that looks like it’s on death’s door. Your marriage can make you happy, but it will take some work on your part.
Why should you put in the work? A healthy marriage has some significant positive effects on your mental and emotional health. Here are some examples.
You’ll be happier
One of the emotional benefits of marriage is that it improves your long-term mental health. When everything else is equal, married people are happier. No matter how happy you were before you were married, the data shows that you’ll be happy once you are married.
The National Opinion Research Center asked 35,000 men and women how happy they are with their lives in general. They discovered that only 24% of single or cohabiting people reported they were “very happy,” but 40% of those married felt ecstatic in their lives.
You have a lower risk of clinical depression
If you are married, you are less likely to be depressed than single or divorced people. Many cases of depression are caused by having poor social support, which causes depression, loneliness, and isolation. But if you are in a healthy marriage, you have a built-in support system in your spouse.
Recently, the pandemic has forced many people into isolation, leaving only their immediate family to rely on. This unprecedented situation has caused marriages to change, for better or worse. While many couples say the stress has magnified their marriage problems, the opposite is also true.
Researchers asked couples if their marriages were in trouble. More marriages seemed to be struggling during the pandemic. In reality, though, the number of people who answered yes dropped from 40% in 2019 to 29% in 2020. This number is its lowest point in the past five years.
These stats lead me to believe that when these couples spent more time together, whether they wanted to or not, they relied on each other as a support system to get through the rough times. If your spouse is your primary social support, you will be generally happier with life and not get depressed.
You will feel less anxious
Married people have lower levels of anxiety. A recent study from Carnegie Mellon University used biological evidence to explain the effects marriage has on your health.
Cortisol is the hormone your body produces when you are under stress. The researchers checked the cortisol levels of 572 healthy adults between the ages of 21-55 by taking multiple saliva samples during three non-consecutive days. Having high levels of cortisol in your body indicates stress.
The study data showed that those who were married had lower cortisol levels than the participants who were single or previously married. So, being married seems to keep the stress hormones down and create the emotional benefits of marriage in your life.
These lower instances of depression and anxiety result in fewer suicide attempts.
Read more about stress in marriage here: This Is What Happens When You Hold Hands With Your Spouse
You’ll feel more secure
There’s a comforting sense of stability in a marriage that doesn’t hold you back, but, instead, it gives you the freedom to chase your dreams and accomplish great things. Knowing that your relationship is not under threat of divorce reduces fear and anxiety and gives you more confidence.
Feeling sure about your marriage’s chances of long-term survival lowers your stress levels, which reduces your risk of certain stress-related illnesses like heart attacks or strokes.
Being part of a stable, healthy marriage also makes you feel supported. This can be just in day-to-day life, but it also is true of your health. Married people who feel like their spouses have their back tend to recover more quickly from major illnesses and injuries. You’ll also be less likely to develop any chronic diseases.
Does your marriage benefit you emotionally?
Although a strong, healthy marriage can give you a better outlook on life, remember that you cannot rely on another person to make you happy. Your strength can only come from God, and a relationship with him is the only foundation you really need. But when you build a godly marriage on Jesus, the Rock, happiness and fulfillment are there for the taking.
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. –1 Peter 5:7
Now, I know there are exceptions to the general rule about happiness in marriage, and that’s unfortunate. But if you are considering divorce, take note of this: Divorce and separation are associated with a much higher risk of mental illness, especially depression.
If you are not feeling the positive emotional benefits of marriage, it does not mean your marriage has no chance of survival. But if you want it to not only survive, but thrive, we are here to help. Send us a message using the form below and let us know what you need!