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Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married? Researchers Alois Stutzer and Bruno Frey answer this question with conviction, using a study that tracked many thousands of Europeans over a year period.
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Perhaps because I'm divorced, I wonder a lot about whether I'd be happier if I were married. Admittedly, I'm already a very happy person; I pretty much max out most happiness scales like these, here.
But I've made a career out of becoming an ever-happier person -- and teaching my children how to do the same -- by doing all the things that research suggests make people happier. And so, I can't ignore one of the biggies: As annoying to divorced and never-married singles everywhere as it is, mountains of research show that being married has pretty large positive effects on husbands and wives.
I've been reviewing all this research, and married people tend to be happier, more satisfied with their lives and less depressed. They tend to be healthier, too. In a way, this makes perfect sense.
Marriage is, for many, a tried and true way to feel less lonely: Commit to someone for the rest of your life and hopefully you've gained a constant companion. And, hopefully, their presence is positive! Avoiding loneliness is a great way to feel happier and less depressed; our social ties predict our health and happiness.
If this is news to you, and you're interested in the science around this, I highly recommend that you read the "health and happiness" chapter of Robert Putnam's book "Bowling Alone.
So which is it? Fortunately there was a study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics a few years ago with that exact title. They found, like many researchers before them, that married people are considerably more satisfied with their lives than unmarried folks. Romantic partners that live together are also happier than singles though not as happy as the married people.
But the answer to my question original question is this: Happy people are, in fact, more likely to get married. In other words, married people start off happier than those who remain single.
They also start off happier than the people who eventually divorce. I certainly fit this pattern. Although I'm a very happy person now, I was one of the more anxious people I knew at the time I got married, and anxiety is not a happiness habit. I'd guess my life satisfaction score at the time I got married would have resembled the average scores of married people who would later divorce.
So where does that leave me now? And so, even at the age of 39, this makes me more likely, statistically speaking, to marry again. This isn't bad news for me, because marriage is still one of those things that is likely to make me even happier than I already am.
That is because not all of the "happiness gap" between single people and married people can be accounted for by how happy people start off, before they ever marry. Even after taking into account how happy people are before they marry, marriage still does increase the odds that we are healthier and happier than if we remain single.
Where does this leave you? It's easy to get discouraged by some of this research: If you're not an especially happy person, does that mean you're not likely to get married -- and receive the extra happiness boost that marriage might provide?
But if you've been reading this blog and become at all familiar with the science of happiness, you know that there's more to the story than that. Our happiness level isn't just a fact of life; a significant chunk of it is under our control.
So here's yet another reason to start practicing happiness habits: They'll increase your odds of getting happily hitched, if that is what you want.
Become a fan of Raising Happiness on Facebook. Follow Christine Carter on Twitter. Sign up for the Raising Happiness monthly newsletter.Happy is good.
Holy is better. Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply. How much does the typical American family make?
This question is probably one of the most central in figuring out how we can go about fixing our current economic malaise. The Marriage Effect: How Being Married Makes You Happier & How to Keep It That Way. Create the life you love with the love of your life. That’s the tagline of one of my favorite marriage blogs, attheheels.com Life coach, Maggie Reyes, is the founder and main writer on Modern Married and I’m always tickled pink when she hops over to Happy Wives Club to share some of her boundless .
May 23, · Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married? Fortunately there was a study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics a few years ago with that exact title. The best and most comprehensive list of happy and positive marriage quotes on the web.
Love quotes from Mignon McLaughlin, Fawn Weaver, Nicholas Sparks, Robert Brault, Rick Warren, Barbara De Angelis, Mahatma Gandhi and countless others. Mar 11, · The honeymoon period in most marriages has a shelf life. But does that mean you can't bring back those fluttery butterfly feelings of excitement and anti.