It is usual for many unmarried people (single, cohabiting, and Living Apart Together) to have reservations about sharing their lives with another person in a lifelong commitment like marriage.
Why is marriage important in the first place? That’s a fairly common question, considering that some people consider marriage an outdated institution, and others are not too eager to experience the potential “headaches” in marriage.
If any of the above sounds like something you’ve contemplated before, this post is for you.
I’ve been married to the most amazing woman for years, and together, we’ve raised wonderful kids. Now, this may read like a fairytale, but anyone who’s been married for a while will readily agree that marriage has its fair share of ups and downs.
Still, sharing your life with your significant other in marriage is worth the good and not-so-good experience, no matter how you view it.
No doubt, not everyone is cut out for marriage.
However, if you are thinking of exchanging vows, starting a lifelong union, and building a happy home with your heartthrob, here are 8 reasons to give marriage a go!
1. Marriage Teaches Love and Compassion
Making a commitment to share your life with someone is one of the highest forms of love and compassion.
Just about anyone can be heads-over-heel in love with another person from afar.
But when you have to spend nearly every day with the same person and have first-hand experiences of their not-so-appealing qualities, it becomes more challenging to truly love them at close quarters, at least during the early years of marriage.
While this may seem like a disadvantage, the institution of marriage helps couples learn to love intentionally. That means being patient and kind, being genuinely interested in, and supporting your significant other in their life pursuits, whatever that may be.
You will learn not to keep scores of your spouse’s wrongdoing while doing all you can to bring out the best in them. Marriage teaches you to see the best in your partner, even when they can’t see it.
Here’s another way to say everything I’ve just mentioned in the last few paragraphs: marriage makes you a better person!
2. Sharing Your Life With Another Person in Marriage Makes You Happier
Why is marriage important, you ask? How about having a trusted soul mate to share everything with?
You can freely share your doubts and hopes with your spouse without fear of being belittled or judged.
Indeed, you can share your thoughts and feelings and even be trusting enough to discuss any topic with a live-in partner. However, unmarried people in a relationship still don’t consider themselves a legal couple, so there are likely to be certain reservations.
Come to think of it, what’s the benefit of having someone to share your thoughts and feelings with?
We are social creatures, and having someone to lean on for emotional support contributes to our overall well-being. Being married, especially if you work to make your union enjoyable, means you have someone in your life who will always be there for you no matter what; that can increase your happiness level.
3. Marriage Creates a Safe Environment for Kids
Children who grow up in households with their married biological parents living in love and harmony tend to have a higher chance of better overall physical and emotional well-being. They also tend to have better academic performance than kids from broken homes.
This is partly because the kids are brought up in an environment that’s physically safe and emotionally stable to support their development.
One of the greatest gifts a married couple can give their children is first-hand experience of a united front and positive family life. It helps the kids to form a positive perspective about the family unit.
4. Marriage Builds a Better Community
The community is made up of family units, and a healthy marriage is the bedrock of a strong, united family.
Of course, marriage is a personal decision. But imagine for a minute that our forefathers didn’t value the marriage institution, and children hardly had any strong marital model to emulate.
Would we have strong family bonds? What would have become of our communities?
Here’s another way to look at it.
Married people are more involved in community volunteering, just as they tend to be more involved with civic duties.
Bottom line: marriage is great for the community. The traditional union between men and women forms a solid cornerstone upon which our communities and societies are built.
5. Marriage Increases Sexual, Emotional, and Experiential Intimacy
For many people, sex readily comes to mind at the mention of intimacy. And that’s okay! Guilt-free sex plays a major role in relieving stress, and that’s what marriage can give you and your spouse.
No doubt, anyone can have sex whether or not they are married. However, married couples have a more satisfying and enjoyable sex life than single or divorced people. What’s more, you’ll not just have better sex in marriage, but you’ll have it more often!
However, while chemistry in the bedroom is important, sexual intercourse is not the only intimacy in a lifelong marriage.
Marriage provides the perfect opportunity to openly share your thoughts and feelings without reservations, allowing you to be vulnerable without the fear of being judged or misunderstood. This uninhibited expression between you and your spouse is known as emotional intimacy, and it helps make you happier versions of yourselves.
Experiential intimacy is another type of intimacy a married couple can enjoy. This can be anything from teamwork, sharing private personal experiences, and embarking on new adventures together.
6. Marriage Increases Fidelity
Speaking of sexual intimacy, getting married can reduce extra-relational affairs, which in turn increases fidelity in relationships.
Studies on lifetime engagements show that about 70% of unmarried people engage in extra-relational affairs, while the estimates are approximately 20% for married couples.
Some unmarried people think it is okay to have sex with multiple partners, even if they are in a relationship. After all, they aren’t married yet, so they are exempted from practicing monogamy.
But here’s the thing about relationship infidelity; it can cause psychological or mental pain for the person engaging in infidelity as well as their partner. Unfortunately, psychological pain can negatively affect your body and may lead to anxiety, depression, and an increased risk of self-harm.
So, why is marriage important? It’s not hard to see that marriage leads to relationship satisfaction as well as sexual satisfaction – and both factors can reduce infidelity while increasing relationship commitment.
7. A Happy Marriage Improves Life Expectancy
Marriage is one of the notable non-biological factors that can help people live longer lives. A survey of over 127,000 American adults suggests that married men tend to enjoy better health and have greater chances of living longer than their unmarried counterparts.
Notable statisticians have also concluded that adults who choose not to marry voluntarily subject themselves to huge health risks.
In other words, marriage should be top on your list if you want to increase your chance of living longer and enjoying good health.
Don’t take this the wrong way, though.
I am not suggesting that getting married automatically gives you a clean bill of health and extends your life by a few years. Instead, when couples commit to making their marriage work, they can enjoy better health and live longer.
8. Marriage Gives You Legal Rights as a Spouse
Living apart together (LAT) and live-in or cohabiting relationships are similar to marriage in some ways. However, they are not socially and legally recognized or binding in many parts of the world.
For starters, unmarried people (whether LAT or cohabitors) are usually not answerable to each other. The relationship has no legal obligation and typically doesn’t have any economic, social, or familial implications.
On the other hand, marriage gives you certain legal rights and benefits as a spouse. For example, a child born in valid wedlock, where the parents are legally married, is considered a legitimate child.
Unlike live-in arrangements, where one partner cannot legally claim their partner’s benefits, marriage gives a spouse access to their partner’s assets, retirement funds, and many other marital rights.
Love is a beautiful thing, and when it leads to marriage, the couples can live happier lives together.
If you’re on the fence about tying the knot with your current romantic partner or someone else in the future, now you know why doing so is beneficial to you, your future spouse, children (if you want kids), and the community.