Marriage may make people happier

Married people may be happier in the long run than those who aren’t married, according to new research by Michigan State University scientists.

Their study, online in the Journal of Research in Personality, finds that although matrimony does not make people happier than they were when they were single, it appears to protect against normal declines in happiness during adulthood.

“Our study suggests that people on average are happier than they would have been if they didn’t get married,” said Stevie C.Y. Yap, a researcher in MSU’s Department of Psychology.

Yap, Ivana Anusic and Richard Lucas studied the data of thousands of participants in a long-running, national British survey. They set out to find whether personality helps people adapt to major life events including marriage.

The answer, essentially, was no: Personality traits such as conscientiousness or neuroticism do not help people deal with losing a job or having a baby.

“Past research has suggested that personality is important in how people react to important life events,” Yap said. “But we found that there were no consistent effects of personality in how people react and adapt to these major events.”

In general, similar-aged participants who did not get married showed a gradual decline in happiness as the years passed.

Those who were married, however, largely bucked this trend. It’s not that marriage caused their satisfaction level to spike, Yap noted, but instead kept it, at least, stable.

The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.

4 thoughts on “Marriage may make people happier”

  1. This phenomenon could be explained easily by the following 2 quotations:

    “(2) Valid Happiness
    A. Definition
    Valid happiness is the feeling of things being a-step-better for keeping our DNA alive. No matter how large or small the size of the step may be.
    This feeling is valid only when it meets the conditions in which the instincts were formed about 10,000 years ago.
    B. Composition
    Any person will have valid happiness when he or she is doing the physical or spiritual things of the following:
     Eating,
     Drinking,
     Playing (learning/practicing),
    and etc.
     Symbiosizing (loving or helping
     Being conscience,
     Being moral,
     Doing justice,
     Upholding equality (including
    freedom, esteem, and etc.),
     Sensing Beauty,
     Sensing Curiosity,
     Competing,
     Creating,
     Being Courageous,
     And etc.
    All these actions mentioned above are a-step-better for keeping our DNA alive without exceptions in about 10,000 years ago. And thus all of them make us happy validly.
    C. Functions
    a. Confirmation
    Happiness confirms the thing just done is in favor of keeping his or her DNA alive.
    b. Encouragement
    Happiness encourages us to go further towards keeping his or her DNA alive.
    D. Properties
    a. Duration
    Happiness must last very short time; otherwise, humankind will indulge in it without going any further to survive or keep their DNA alive.
    b. Quality
    Happiness is a very strong indicator although qualitatively or directionally only.
    c. Quantity
    Happiness carries merely a little quantitative information.
    d. Accuracy
    Happiness has an ultra-high accuracy so that a rich person is given merely a penny more than due will be happy.

    Happiness is the light,
    Leading us to survive.
    If it becomes invalid,
    It does drive us to die.

    (From W. Ying; “Be Happy Validly!” p.4-6, CreateSpace, Amazon, 2012)

    “6. Marriage (Primary Symbiosis)
    Marriage is one of the most important parts of human primary symbiosis.
    A. Origin
    Marriage was originated after biological evolution progressed from asexual propagation to sexual one. It is so because the sexual propagation can cope with all kinds of difficulties much easier than the asexual one.
    B. Definition
    Biologically speaking, marriage is one whole bio-entity or co-body consisting of a couple of husband and wife.
    This couple is integrated spiritually in order to keep both their DNA alive in their offspring’s body —- a better new carrier for keeping their DNA alive than both old individuals of the husband and wife.
    That is why a marriage couple sleeps in a bed and works as close together as possible.
    Also, this is where the kiss, embrace, and etc. come from.
    C. Properties
    Once married, any person of the couple ought never to cut the whole bio-entity or co-body into two parts with great suffering, that is, to divorce.
    Divorce is caused by various kinds of invalid happiness, including extra-marital affair, invalid comparison, and etc.
    Divorce not only hurts the couple individually, but also harms their offspring and even the society they live in. Hence, it is not only personal matter but also a social event close to crime to some degree.
    D. Mechanism
    Marriage woks just as one whole spiritually inseparable biological machine made of two halves-parts.
    a. Husband
    The husband half is biologically assigned in charge of food-seeking, habitat constructing, defending, donating all kinds of co-body-safety messages ceaselessly to his wife (kissing, embracing, and so on) .
    His ability and smartness come mainly from the ceaseless intimate encouragement of the other half of the marriage —- the wife.
    b. Wife
    The wife is biologically assigned in charge of the child bearing, child bring up, house hold, and etc.
    She transfers all the physical substantial materials from her own body into the baby’s. Also, she exhausts all her spiritual energy to bring up the baby or child —- the DNA-carrier of both the husband and wife.
    That is where her mother-greatness and beauty come from.
    Her beauty and virtue are support-enhanced by the ceaseless intimate co-body message from the other half of the marriage —- the husband.
    This is the right way that the husband and wife of a marriage work; and the right way that happy life of the couple comes from.
    Then, there will be no issue of gender equality at all.
    E. Caution
    Never a marriage should be misled by any kind of invalid happiness into invalid sufferings, including the most serious one —- the divorce mentioned above.
    To keep all kinds of the invalid happiness away is easy if a person just understands and believes in the life goal is to keep our DNA alive rather than anything else.
    Strictly speaking, this way or mechanism of marriage should be legislated formally. That is, to legislate against treating spouse not as the other half of the whole bio-entity or co-body, nothing to say about divorce which is very close to crime injuring our society.

    Life Goal
    Set my life goal,
    Far from the innate code,
    So I can never reach the goal,
    It gives me a nervous soul,
    My immune index gets low,
    My health down goes,
    How can I live old?

    Set my life goal,
    Close to the innate code,
    I easily reach the goal,
    It gives me a peaceful soul,
    My immune index is no low,
    My health up goes,
    I briskly live centuries old.

    For better keeping DNA alive,
    Symbiotic group is easy to survive.
    A couple of husband and wife,
    Make the strongest symbiotic life.
    The male leads food-seeking and defending,
    The female does propagation and educating.
    Anyone violates these biological rules,
    Must one’s self, offspring, and symbiotic group,
    Be in trouble for happy life to do.”

    (From “Be Happy Validly!” by W. Ying, page 19-24, CreateSpace, Amazon, 2012)

  2. Marriage is a good, secure arrangement — better than all the living-togethers of today. However, boredom in a relationship can make marriage a crutch to obesity & other negative efffects of sameness. At the end of the day, if one can be happy alone, marriage is not needed. If they truly love one another, people should stop making excuses for commitment, and just get married.

  3. It is important to describe the difference between “married” and “single”. Plenty of people are in long-term partnerships but have never made it official in terms of state/legal recognition. Is this article saying that single people are less happy than non-single people? That people in long-term unmarried relationships are less happy than those that may be in shorter-term relationships, but happened to saunter down to city hall one day to sign a form? Let’s move away from the marriage designation and focus on the quality of the relationship.

Comments are closed.