3 Health Benefits of Marriage [Backed by Studies]

Marriage can provide us with a lifetime partner in virtually everything we do from personal pursuits to financial stability. There are also some wonderful benefits that it can have on our health.

However, if life’s stressors have had a severe impact on your mental health and wellbeing, you may want to read this article about mindfulness therapy to see if it might be right for you. 

Research shows numerous physical and mental health benefits from marriage. Being married can increase lifespan and happiness. It can help us recover quicker from illnesses and avoid unnecessary risks. 

Live Longer

Numerous studies from several cultures show that married adults live longer than unmarried peers. Both men and women tend to have higher death rates when they are unmarried whether they die from illness, suicide, accident, or something else. Experts do not agree on the reasoning behind this, but there are some hypotheses.

Some think that it may have something to do with the financial or economic benefits of marriage, but others do not think that has anything to do with it. Some think that it is having someone to depend on which subsequently lowers stress levels that can cause illness in the long term. 

Physical Health

Married people are also more likely to have good physical health. This is due to many things. Married people are less likely to suffer from minor illnesses like the flu, migraines, or the common cold. They are also less likely to suffer from major health problems including heart disease, heart attacks, and even cancer

Research also shows that people who are married are more likely to recognize illness and seek medical help. They also recover faster than unmarried people and avoid risky behavior. In addition, they also tend to have a healthier overall diet. 

Married people are affected by their spouse’s choices. They also look out for each other and may encourage healthy behavior and discourage things that are unhealthy or risky. Wives tend to discourage drinking, smoking, risky behavior, and improve the overall diet. Men may even begin to decrease their risky habits and choices before the wedding. 

Married people emotionally support one another. This may contribute to the benefits to recovery times and immune systems. It may also help to decrease pressure on the heart. Some studies even show that there may be a direct impact on the immune system for those who are married.  


Lesbian couple sharing an anniversary gift

Married men and women are less likely to develop mental illnesses. One study shows that married people a much lower rate of depression. They also had significantly less chance, at least half, of developing psychiatric disorders of any type. 

Divorce on the other hand may increase the risk of mental illness, particularly depression. Married people are also more likely to describe themselves as happy. In addition, losing your husband or wife to death can also negatively impact overall health. 

Studies also show that married people have less stress than unmarried levels. This may be a cause of many of the health benefits of marriage because people with lower stress will have lower levels of cortisol which is linked to inflammation. Inflammation contributes to a lot of health conditions including immunity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Also, marriage may help us achieve our potential and needs. There are two different views of how we look at how good our life is. The hedonic view looks at how good our life is going.

The eudaimonic view looks at the way we are fulfilled from things other than pleasure. This takes into consideration personal growth, responsibilities, generosity, and other things that may affect our wellbeing. Having a marriage partner can help us feel valued and understood.

This, in turn, will positively impact our overall eudaimonic wellbeing in the long term. This is because we can truly feel that our partner is responsive to our needs and married people are also less likely to have a significant reaction to daily stressors. 

Marriage or Cohabitation

These benefits do not exist with mere cohabitation or those in close romantic relationships that remain unmarried. In fact, cohabitation may have the opposite effect on financial satisfaction and health. People who are unmarried but living with their significant other tend to have poorer mental health than those who are married. 

Why this is the case is still not understood, but experts have wondered about the cause of the health benefits to married people. Researchers have questioned whether marriage is the cause of the health benefits or if it is just that healthy individuals are more likely to marry. 

Also, read a related post: Parental Rights of Same-Sex Parents


There are tons of great benefits of marriage for both physical and mental health. People who married generally live longer, healthier lives. These benefits do not apply to those who are in romantic relationships but are not married. Having someone that you can depend on and that supports you can be a wonderful thing. 

About the Author

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Can you think of any other health benefits of marriage? Share below!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.