There is strong evidence that happily married couples are healthier people. Having someone to love in your life who loves you in return makes for a very loving, healthy life.
When a couple choose to commit for life and decide to love unconditionally, their medical records indicate the two are managing their marriage well. Excellent health reports give strong evidence that love and cherishing is going on in the home.
Honor and respect are key ingredients for long lasting love. Couples who have mutual respect for each other do not have to work at loving. It comes natural. They have learned the secret for success. It is putting the other first and resisting selfishness.
According to the latest U.S. Census data, the overall divorce rate has declined as couples get married later in life, often after living together. But the divorce rate for first marriages is still about 47%.
Steven Nock, a professor of sociology who studies marriage at the University of Virginia and author of Marriage in Men's Lives: "I have studied what people imagine would happen to them if their marriage were to end," says Nock. "If you don't think horrible things will happen, you are a different kind of spouse than if you think they will. In my work, it is a very strong predictor of divorce." In other words, if you can see yourself taking that next step and can visualize yourself as single, you are more likely to be stepping outside the marriage. While too much independence ― the kind that leads to infidelity or workaholism ― is a marriage breaker, too much dependence isn't the answer either. "Every good marriage is based on an awful lot of separation," Nock says. "People need to have a separate life and existence to feel validated as individuals. They can't live solely as somebody's partner."
Happy marriage tip: Married sex is better; the chances are you have more sex, and, according to Nock, it is still the case that marital sex is better than extramarital sex. "Most research suggests," Nock says, "that couples figure out how to please each other better than strangers do."
Dating in marriage: Nock states, "here are plenty of reasons why you should stay married. You will live longer, earn more, and be a more social and altruistic member of society than your single counterpart. The question remains, in the hassle-free no-fault divorce world, how do you stay married ― happily, that is? Terry Real, a Boston-based marriage and family therapist and author of The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work, suggests you try dating your wife.
Many men, Real tells WebMD, try to fix their marriage after it is broken, after their wives have turned off or they've lost the incentive. "What I tell guys is, 'If you don't put oil in your engine, it freezes.' Guys will put more energy into maintaining their car than they will into maintaining their marriage, and if you don't maintain something, it breaks."
Among his tips for a happy marriage is to let your wife kvetch. "A lot of guys don't want to go out alone with their wives because they know when the wives are alone with them, they're going to complain." Don't fight that, he says. "Take your woman out and cut her some slack. Don't insist that everything go your way." Listen, nod, agree now and then ― but within limits.
Doing these things is not the same as compromise. "I don't want people to compromise on the one relationship that is the most important relationship of their lifetime," he says. "Women don't get what they want because men can't deliver emotional intimacy."
"I talk to women about how to go about getting that. Guys don't get what they want either. But we are so dumb and used to having low expectations that we grumble about it, and then don't do anything about it. My message to both sexes is: Go back into the ring and duke it out. Most guys do not feel appreciated, cherished, and loved and desired in their marriage." You need to learn to ask for those things, he says ― before you end up paying for them with an extramarital affair."
Thank you Dr. Nock for your incredible insight into the world of marriage. A healthy marriage takes work. The result is an intimate love life and better physical health.