Finding the right lifelong partner can be one of the smartest moves a man or a woman can make. After a lengthy review of the current research, as well as the findings from our own 34 years of research on marriage, here are the five top ways a good marriage can enhance your life:

1. You can actually live longer. The most powerful conclusion of all of the studies is that there is a relationship between longer life and being married. One study concluded that men who are married live an average of 10 years longer than unmarried men and women live an average of 4 years longer than unmarried women. What an incentive to find a mate for life!

2. You can experience better psychological and physical health. There have been a great number of research studies throughout the world since 1987 demonstrating a positive relationship between being married and better physical and psychological health. The links between successful marriage and good health are overwhelming. Married men and women have lower rates of serious illness, are less likely to die in hospitals than unmarried men or women, and are less likely than unmarried persons to engage in risky behaviors including the use of drugs or alcohol.

3. You can be happier than unmarried people. In research studies, married people report being happier than unmarried people. They are hopeful, happy and feel good about themselves. Men and women in stable relationships have higher levels of psychological health. Married people have lower rates of depression and schizophrenia than unmarried people. They are more balanced and less likely to experience mental illness. Research indicates that individuals in a marriage feel supported, saying that they always have someone they trust to confide in and to lean on in times of need.

4. You can have greater earnings than an unmarried person. Numerous studies found that married men’s earnings are significantly greater than unmarried men’s earnings. The most recent studies of women’s earning power demonstrate that married women earn more than unmarried women even when their husband’s income is not considered part of their earnings. The vast majority of the studies take all of the various possible factors into consideration and the results still demonstrate greater earnings for married individuals than for unmarried ones. In the United States married individuals in their 50s and 60s have a net worth per person roughly twice that of other unmarried individuals.

5. You will have sex more often and enjoy it more. Research findings indicate that a married man or woman will have sex more often and enjoy it more. Physically and emotionally married couples report a greater satisfaction with sex then their unmarried counterparts. Married couples also have sexual intimacy more often than unmarried couples.

As love and marriage experts who have interviewed successfully married couples through the world, we know that a good relationship is a relationship that makes each person in the relationship better by being in the relationship. There is no boss in a good relationship. Rather it is an equal partnership. Responsibility and decision-making are shared and consensus building is a routine. A good relationship can be described as one of support, togetherness, honesty, mutual respect, healthy habits, excitement, love, touching and sharing. A good relationship brings out the best in both individuals because they are together. Great couples have a oneness in their relationship, without giving up their individual identities. They are each other’s best cheerleaders and feel the mutual support with everything they do together and individually. They are each other’s best friends and constantly demonstrate it through their actions and words. That is why a good relationship benefits the individuals who are in that relationship.

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts

Read our latest book, In Marriage Simple Thing Matter to discover how to save, enhance or sustain your marriage.

* Creating a successful marriage is not always the easiest thing to do. Your visiting our blog suggests you are highly interested in making your relationship work! And truthfully, we have learned over 37 years of marriage research that there are proven effective ways to ensure a happy and healthy marriage. In fact, as love and marriage experts we took hundreds of tips from the thousands of happy couples we interviewed throughout the world and put them into our award-winning and bestselling book, Building a Love that Lasts and our latest book, In Marriage Simple Thing Matter.

Author's Bio: 

As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With over 37 years of research on love and successful marriage across seven continents of the world in 56 countries and their own 52-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.

Get started with America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts by taking their Marriage Quiz or sending your questions to Ask the Doctors for Marriage Advice.

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Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz, the Official Guides To Marriage