Having been married for just over seven months now, let's face it: I'm an expert on marriage. PSYCH! But really, I have learned so many things in my classes and my home that have helped me appreciate my marriage more than I knew possible. Marriage is a pretty neat thing! There's a reason those who marry are reported to be much happier and more successful than singles, dating couples, and couples who live together (cohabiters).
But, despite how awesome marriage is, more and more people are continually opting for the "union" of cohabitation over marriage. Cohabitation's popularity does not make it better, however; just the normal thing.
When mom and dad break up, this means little Jack and Jill's world is flipped upside down, and they suffer more than anyone else in the breakup. This suffering includes a loss of social and economic opportunities for the children and their families that cost taxpayers about $112 billion every year, or more than $1 trillion a decade! And we continue to wonder where some of that national debt is coming from.
Meanwhile, marriage continues to be the most profitable union out there. Children who grow up in stable families have much less risk of being either the perpetrator or the victim of a crime. In addition, married men are more successful and earn more money than single men, which means they give back to the economy more than any unmarried man does. You're welcome, America.
Like I've already alluded to, children who are raised by both of their married parents are more likely to not experience parental breakup. This creates a stable, safe environment for children-one where they have been proven to do better psychologically, academically, and socially. So wait, by getting hitched to your best friend, you automatically give your children a leg up on tackling the big bad world? Sign me up!
3. Your community loves it
As it turns out, all the single ladies (and men) have good reason to love marriage, too. Singles and families alike both benefit from marriage, because such a union provides a stable neighborhood. Marriage has been shown to reduce crime, poverty, and welfare. Plus, when you see a service project done or a helping hand lent out to a friend, it's typically married folks who have the extra time and available resources to help their neighbors with things like home repairs, housework, etc. In fact, married people actually average 1.4 times more volunteer hours than singles!
4. You love it
None of us are a selfless Mother Theresa or Gandhi (which kind of sucks, because they were amazing people), and so when it comes to any huge commitment, it's only natural to ask, "What's in it for me?"
Like Jimmy Neutron's father once said, "Okay you've gotta admit, that is pretty neat!" When you are in a healthy marriage, it results in a much better quality of living.
But are there such things as unhealthy marriages-even abusive ones? Absolutely. And those kinds of marriages are awful, no doubt about it. However, women (and children) in marriages experience way less abuse than both single mothers and cohabiting mothers. So, while it may be an imperfect union, it is hands-down the best way of life that is available to us.
Marriage must truly be magical to offer us all of these amazing benefits for such comparatively little self-sacrifice. Is marriage hard work? Oh my goodness yes. But is it worth it? I know it is for me! And, from the looks of it, it seems to be more than worth all of the hard work for everybody else, too.
I'm not saying that all of you bachelors and bachelorettes have to go find yourselves a spouse right now or else you'll be a menace to society-that's rubbish. However, when the opportunity to marry comes along, don't cheat yourself and avoid it, or even worse settle for cohabitation. Put a ring on that sucker and join the rest of us, and then tell your friends! You won't regret it.