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Does Marriage Really Make People Happier?

I am a firm believer that marriage needs good PR – well better PR than the Kardashians would be a good start. Those of us who have never been married before hear the horror stories and cautionary tales of marrying the wrong person. It is probably one of the biggest concerns many of us have.

A lot of people believe that if they find the right person and get married, their lives will make them happier – richer, and more satisfying. I happen to believe that it can but that is not the reason I ultimately want to marry. I want to get married because I love the man that asks me to marry him. I know, crazy concept!

The Journal of Marriage recently published a study that revealed:
“While both marriage and cohabitation provide benefits over being single, these reduce over time following a honeymoon period.”

I could argue that being single has its moments too – there are days when it can be super annoying and lonely – just like in a marriage.

The researchers also stated that “compared to most industrial countries America continues to value marriage above other family forms. Marriage is by no means unique in promoting well-being and that other forms of romantic relationships can provide many of the same benefits.”

What do you think? Do too many people get married thinking it will make them happier. Would that explain our brief marriages, high divorce rates, etc.?

I always say, if you can’t be happy single, being married won’t change a thing. Miserable singles marry each other and become miserable couples. Miserable couples have miserable kids. That’s lose-lose, man.

Are we on a quest to marry so that we can have happier lives?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

271 comments Add your comment

SlimNu

January 18th, 2012
8:35 am

Good morning,

I haven’t read the topic but will pop back in a bit later…Happy Hump Somebody Like you neva Humped them before DAY :D

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
8:53 am

Good morning.

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
8:56 am

I don’t think marriage itslef make people happier. Happiness is a result of both parties looking out for each other with compromise and accommodation.

KaiserSoze

January 18th, 2012
8:59 am

I enjoyed being married, I felt more fulfilled. After a fifteen year marriage where I was cheated on and tossed to the curb I swore off the idea during the divorce. Like many men (and probably women) I swore to myself ‘never again’, but I am already finding that I want to be married again.

I like waking up with the woman I love, kissing her goodbye every morning, coming home to her and going to sleep next to her every night. There is just something in me that makes me want that. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I simply want that life again. In my personal situation I am happy and content being single, but I know there is something that married life provides that being single just doesn’t. Maybe cohabitation would provide most if not all of those things, but I’ve never lived with a woman full time without being married. Maybe I’ll try that route one day.

disco

January 18th, 2012
9:00 am

good morning. for whatever reason the topic and happy got me to thinking about happy songs. if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands – unknown. happy feelings – Frankie Beverly. all I really want is to be happy – mary j. blige.

Elton

January 18th, 2012
9:04 am

No, marriage does not make a couple happier. Most treat it as a “finish line”…like it’s just “what we are supposed to do”. Women treat marriage (i.e…the wedding) as some sort of fairy tale and riding off into the sunset with her prince. Then once the newness wears off, the nit picking and nagging begins. They try to mold and change her husband into what she wants.

Men treat marriage as sort of a surrender. We know we can’t (or shouldn’t) keep dating around, enjoying different company, meeting new people, drinking beer, having money and leaving the toilet seat up forever. So we take the plunge because “it’s the right thing to do and she’s just as good as anyone else”. Then once reality sets in, it becomes “OMG…what have I done??”

And you are right. I can fill the pages of War and Peace with the horror stories from married couples, couples that hate each other, couples that are sleeping around on each other and couples that stay together for the kids, but plan on divorcing as soon as they go off to college. I even know a few couples that stay married, but live on seperate floors of the house. These couples also date other people, but stay “married”. Go figute…

Mr. Unknown

January 18th, 2012
9:07 am

Good morning

I have never been married but I witnessed more happiness with people that shack up rather than married couples. Marriage is overrated, there are far too many selfish people in the world that can’t handle commitment or being commited to anything for over six months. I have a gloom and doom outlook on marriage right now. blah!!

Marge Simpson

January 18th, 2012
9:10 am

I think Elton is close to the truth. On paper and in theory, being married SHOULD be the way to go. Finding your soul mate and living the rest of your lives together in harmony, compromising, being consciencious, being thoughtful and loving each other unconditionally.

But that’s only in Mother Goose books. It doesn’t work that way. Oh Wise Dive….the horror stories are true and closer to reality. Complaciency, thy name is MARRIAGE.

Eleni777

January 18th, 2012
9:11 am

Note to the Author: All my married friends are MISERABLY UNHAPPY.

I’m divorced and I LOVE being single… I can sleep next to the man I love and then send him home where he can do his own laundry, cook for himself and clean up after himself. I’ll NEVER get married again.

KaiserSoze

January 18th, 2012
9:22 am

Wow…..after reading the responses following mine I guess I’m just a hopeless romantic.

But I still think that if you find the right person – which in and of itself is a major undertaking – and thoroughly review the relationship and find that magical compatibility, then being married can be a wonderful thing.

Independent voter

January 18th, 2012
9:25 am

Male / female Perceptions differ.. women get in shape, make up, act sexy.. when single… men think they WON”T change after marriage.. Men drink.. play sports.. women think they WILL change after marriage.. both sexes are wrong.. then the discontent begins.. don”t expect too much.. both sides need to give 60% then you might have a happy marriage.. it IS better than being single !!

Independent

January 18th, 2012
9:29 am

Eleni777 with your attitude chances are ALL of your friends are MISERABLY unhappy.. if you cant’ or won’t cook at all marriage is not for you..

cba

January 18th, 2012
9:37 am

Kaiser~ I agree with your 8:59. I’ve been married 31 yrs and have two brothers that have been married longer. No, we don’t walk around with a fixed smile on our face. We live and exist in the real world with all it pros and cons. The main thing is to find a person who lives in the real world.

If my wife had told me she was looking for a man to make her happy, the relationship would have ended there. Instead, she said she was looking for a man to build her life with and I were looking for the same thing.

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
9:44 am

There you have it, cba!!!! Slam Dunk!

Dave

January 18th, 2012
9:51 am

Are you kidding me? After the experience I had, EVERYTHING that my buddies said would happen after the ceremony….happened. Can’t say I wasn’t warned. No, I’ll stick with being single, thank you very much. I do want just one person to date, however, marriage is just a daggar in the relationship. Anyone that says otherwise is typing their response with their significant other looking over their shoulder. Cause if Mama ain’t happy…..ain’t NOBODY happy.

Morgan & Morgan

January 18th, 2012
9:56 am

Wow…either marriage is for you or it isn’t for you. If it’s good, it is at best a tough job. If it ain’t, the ninth ring in hell is a cake walk compared to it..

Independent voter

January 18th, 2012
9:56 am

Marriage is a friendship 1st.. people that have/make good friends.. will be more likely to find happiness in marriage.. must enjoy being a little domestic.. eating in is important to saving $$ in this economy and being healthy.. cooking is creative and can be fun !!

Amy101

January 18th, 2012
10:02 am

I’d like to ask a few questions:
1) Why do MOST men hate the idea of marriage and MOST women view it as something they want?
2) Why does the wife always get portrayed as a nagging, belittling, bat from hell?
3) Why does the husband get portrayed as a lazy, overweight, balding, low life?
4) Is there something to the “If you want to change a French Poodle into a Pit Bull, marry her.”
5) Is there something to “Husbands have three buttons, sex, hungry and sports”?

M. (pronouced M dot)

January 18th, 2012
10:04 am

Good day…

Are we on a quest to marry so that we can have happier lives?

I think people are on a quest but everyone has different reasons for doing it. Some people feel their clocks ticking and feel like they cant meet anyone else so they settle for the first person and build the airplane once they jump off the cliff.

I have never been married but from observing my brother’s actions after getting married, I have learned 3 things:

1. Don’t get married because all of your friends are married and your clock is ticking and you have someone who wants to get married and will say yes.

2. Guys really want to be 200% sure of who they are marrying because if it does not work out, the way the divorce system is setup, guys stand to lose a lot.

3. If you arent happy married, just get the divorce. Cheating wont solve anything. Yes her father will probably dislike you for the rest of your life, his mother will tell him he should have listened to her about you, all your wedding guest will be mad they spent money on tuxedos, gifts, dresses, bachelor/bachelorette parties etc…but that better than cheating on your husband/wife and embarrassing that person forever.

Independent

January 18th, 2012
10:05 am

looks are superfiscial.. looks are skin deep.. ugly is though an though.. find a hard worker.. sense of humor.. not an emotional basket case.. no deperssion in my family.. nice to find an emotional and financially independent partner.. ” life is good ” attitude

cba

January 18th, 2012
10:08 am

Leggs~ :lol: good morning

Exiled!

January 18th, 2012
10:13 am

Morny!!

Elton! Thumps for that 9:04!

Marriage has an illusion about it. That ‘right’ thing to do makes most men wanna go that route. The finishing line analogy is what’s on females minds. That’s why they have pressure when they get to their 30s with no ring on them fangas.

But for a guy,once you in,couple kids later that’s when u realize,comparatively,you were happier when single.

Too late!

Can’t turn back the hands of time nor conjure reverse vision 20-20!

So you go with the flow!

It’s a mighty Conundrum!

Any guy out there choosing to stay single and they are not gay, I would Totally understand.

Its the Best of Your World! :lol:

kimmie

January 18th, 2012
10:21 am

Morning All!

6 months in and it’s all good, this thing called marriage. Gotta find the right person though.

Getting back to work!

Alan

January 18th, 2012
10:26 am

After almost 16 years meting married, I Can still say its the best thing I ever did!!!!

Raqi

January 18th, 2012
10:32 am

Happiness is personal choice. Married or Not.

And yes if you aren’t happy unmarried, getting married will not bring it [happiness] to pass.

Having a doting life partner is awesome. I couldn’t ask for a better one. He does his part toward my happiness and I do my part toward his however being happy…that’s a choice we make.

I know of a woman that pretty much has it all. Loving and providing husband, nice looking intelligent kids, good career potential, nice house, clothing and cars but is not happy. Why? Because for her nothing is ever enough. She has a material and emotional desire that stretches clear into infinity. There is no end so until SHE change happiness is unattainable.

I think the reason most are not happy in marriages is because the expectations going in are severely defective. Marriage is work as with all things else in life. Despite what most subconsciously assume life does not switch to autopilot after the nuptials. In reality, nuptials are very much the entrance into the working of building a happy life together.

All in all, happiness is a choice.

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
10:33 am

Kudos, Alan.

Prince Charming

January 18th, 2012
10:35 am

Once upon a time, a prince asked a beautiful princes “Will you marry me?” The princess said “No.” and the prince lived happily ever after riding motorcycles, dating hot chicks, hunted, raced cars, went to nude bars, slept with women half his age, drank beer, Captain Morgan’s, Jack Daniels’s, drank milk from the box, never heard complaining, went to rock concerts, kept his house and favorite jeans and his whole family though he had it made because he had tons of money, He also left the toilet seat up all the time. THE END!

MsMarriedUp

January 18th, 2012
10:36 am

Marriage like anything has it sides… however, I have been on all four or five sides.

I absolutely did not like living alone. Yes, I had my freedom and could do what I wanted when I wanted, but I remember one or two lonely nights that to me felt like two or three years living alone. Hated being single… and tell me why everyone seemed coupled up at that time!

On the shacking up side, I didn’t care for that either. Didn’t care for that uncertainty… and let’s face it… it ain’t nothing like walking in your house and finding him and all your sh– gone. I know it’s supposed to be trust this and that, but I live in the real world.

Which brings me to the married world (shaving off some other worlds). Marriage for me is the lesser of all the evils. I like round the clock company, even if we’re not talking…and doing… and he’s over there and me over there. Both of us say we like the fact of having someone permanent to come home to, and yet be free to do our own thing too. That’s the plus side of our thing, because like I said nothing is 100% all grapes and roses.

This one you can take to the bank and cash in on…

kimmie

January 18th, 2012
10:38 am

Hi Raqi!!

Love your post. Happiness is indeed a choice. I definitely choose it and so does my husband.

Fion

January 18th, 2012
10:38 am

Wow!!! there’s that funky word again “expectation”.

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
10:42 am

Awwww, so nice to read you Raqi. Hope you and your family and doing well.

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
10:46 am

If you’re not in jail, everything you do is a choice. It’s up to you to chose wisely and effectively.

MsMarriedUp

January 18th, 2012
10:49 am

Great one Raqi…very true.

disco

January 18th, 2012
10:49 am

leggs – re jail. funny. that’s my son’s response when he’s having a not so good day. I’ll ask what’s up or how’s he’s doing and he’ll say “I’m not locked up”.

btw – I never understood the toilet seat up issue. what is the big deal? like the comedian’s always point out – watch where you are going.

Raqi

January 18th, 2012
10:50 am

Marriage does have its benefits that I guess I can’t deny makes life a bit…better…happier.

Having that support system that my marido offers helps makes this journey a lot less rigorous. The journey of just life in itself is filled with steep valleys and hills so having someone that share the steering with you relieves some of the pressure. But that goes to choosing the best mate from the start.

Even in our disagreements we know we can turn to each other when and where it really matters. That just makes things happier. Better.

And then you have someone that is genuinely looking out for your health (me more than him, LOL) and well being.

Having been single and a single mother for so long, having someone to help in the decision making now takes a ton of worry, pressure and anxiety off of my heart and mind. Therefore, making life for me happier.

Where I was already happy and cannot deny being happier.

Raqi

January 18th, 2012
10:53 am

Hi, kimmie and Leggs. I have a few minutes on my hand (translated: the marido is taking the little man to doctor so I can take the little lady and the teen to the dentist) so I figured I would see what you all were up to.

I hope life is treated you well.

Raqi

January 18th, 2012
10:55 am

Thanks MsMarriedUp. Our goal is happily “Until Death Do Us Part”. He and I both have committed to that vow.

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
10:56 am

“The journey of just life in itself is filled with steep valleys and hills so having someone that share the steering with you relieves some of the pressure.”…”Having been single and a single mother for so long, having someone to help in the decision making now takes a ton of worry, pressure and anxiety off of my heart and mind.”

And this is what you should have in a mate, a friend, your PARTNER!!!

Raqi

January 18th, 2012
11:07 am

Leggs, giiirrrl…my sisterfriends and I were talking over breakfast a few weekends ago, (Yep, although MARRIED I do get to have those occasional sister dates with my friends, LOL), while we as men and women look for all of those GREAT things in mates, we all confess you better find a friend in him/her first and foremost. Friendship…sigh…friendship means everything.

The newest wedded of us does not share that close magic of friendship that has the potential to be there therefore they are struggling a bit.

Raqi

January 18th, 2012
11:09 am

I honestly think because my hub and I are friends I refrain from kicking him the ballz when I am furious at him. LOL I don’t like to see my friends suffer.

Raqi

January 18th, 2012
11:11 am

That’s all the time I have. It was nice reading yall. Tell SexyCool and Taz I said hello.

Everyone have a gooddun. :-)

Exiled!

January 18th, 2012
11:24 am

Waiting on the Loud Echo from the Chamber to die down a bit!

-;) :lol:

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
11:38 am

Since I’m the only person who repeated something, you can go sit down, EX!

Exiled!

January 18th, 2012
11:45 am

Repeated what?

whattchu talking bout?

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
11:46 am

Nuttin…nevamind!

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
11:46 am

Misinterpreted…

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
11:49 am

Possibly (lol)…

Exiled!

January 18th, 2012
11:58 am

The porn industry in Cali is bout to revolt at the new requirement that they wear condo-_ms

See,this marriage thing I mean :lol:

That is a cushy job right there! :lol: check yahoo..

I on know if wife wld want me to take it..

What say u ladies at that job for ya men? :lol:

Leggs

January 18th, 2012
12:33 pm

Texting and romance…when is too much too much (lol).

Sassy Me...Juicy Fruit ;-)

January 18th, 2012
1:06 pm