Marriage is good for your health

Marriage is good for your health

Most of us would agree that preparing for a wedding should have a government health warning attached! So how can marriage be good for your health? Surely that start to married life must be one of the most stressful things you’re going to encounter.

Until you have children. Or your marriage hits the rocks. Or someone close to you dies. Get the picture?

Well, I don’t suppose you’ll believe it, but, according to recent research, marriage may actually benefit your health.

[And that refers to women, as well as to men, by the way!]

 

A surprising fact

Studies have shown that people who are widowed, divorced/separated or unmarried are likely to die earlier than married people.

So why should this be?

Possible Explanations

There can be no single reason, and there may also be some very particular reasons – thus a rich couple may live longer simply because they are able to afford better health provision.

Wealth

Talking of wealth, you can justifiably claim that the acquisition of wealth may well entail great stress (depending on how you acquire it!), but the reverse is also true: if both of you are earning a reasonable income, you are likely to be more relaxed and at ease. After all, finances are a major cause of stress. There is evidence that suggests that married men are likely to earn 40% more money than single men and security is a great stress-reliever.

Employment

Job security is another factor – and the fact that you are married can indicate trustworthiness and security to your employer, which can improve your prospects – and put you ahead of otherwise comparable competition at a job interview.

Health and Safety

As far as health is concerned, being part of a committed married couple reduces your risk of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases.

Couples tend to watch out for each other’s health and can often identify potential problems before they become serious. They may also encourage (nag?!) the other to have a “minor” issue checked out.

Married couples also appear to be less likely to get involved in potentially violent disputes between others. Moreover, single/divorced women are far more likely to be victims of violence than married women. Likewise, unmarried men are also at greater risk of violent crime than married men.

Solitude and Intimacy

According to evidence that must surely be a little anecdotal (!), considerably more married couples engage in sex each week as opposed to single or cohabiting individuals. This has health benefits (not just because exercise is praiseworthy), as sex releases endorphins that improve mood and can reduce stress (and encourage more of the same).

Mental issues

Various studies indicate that married men or women are far less likely to commit suicide than their single counterparts, and the same goes for indulging in alcohol and illegal drugs. In fact, an international study has found that married people are likely to be significantly happier than unmarried ones. (I don’t know how they quantify happiness, but these studies appear to have been carried out scientifically.)

Conclusion

Of course, there are unsuccessful marriages (the divorce rate alone indicates that) and, as I have said, some of the so-called evidence seems hard to demonstrate as hard fact, but there is enough here to convince me that I am doing the right thing as a civil celebrant by helping people get married! I gather that there are some massive fringe benefits for my couples!

Marriage is good for your Health

Marriage is good for your Health

Many of us would consider marriage to be one of the most stressful things in life! So would you believe it, if I told you that, according to recent research, marriage may actually benefit your health?

[And that refers to men, as well as to women, by the way!]

A surprising fact

Studies have shown that people who are widowed, divorced/separated or unmarried are likely to die earlier than married people.

So why should this be?

Possible Explanations

There can be no single reason, and there may also be some very particular reasons – thus a rich couple may live longer simply because they are able to afford better health provision.

Wealth

Talking of wealth, you can justifiably claim that the acquisition of wealth may well entail great stress (depending on how you acquire it!), but the reverse is also true: if both of you are earning a reasonable income, you are likely to be more relaxed and at ease. After all, finances are a major cause of stress. There is evidence that suggests that married men are likely to earn 40% more money than single men and security is a great stress-reliever.

Employment

Job security is another factor – and the fact that you are married can indicate trustworthiness and security to your employer, which can improve your prospects – and put you ahead of otherwise comparable competition at a job interview.

Health and Safety

As far as health is concerned, being part of a committed married couple reduces your risk of contracing sexually-transmitted diseases.

Couples tend to watch out for each other’s health and can often identify potential problems before they become serious. They may also encourage (nag?!) the other to have a “minor” issue checked out.

Married couples also appear to be less likely to get involved in potentially violent disputes between others. Moreover, single/divorced women are far more likely to be victims of violence than married women. Likewise, unmarried men are also at greater risk of violent crime than married men.

Solitude and Intimacy

According to evidence that must surely be a little anecdotal (!), considerably more married couples engage in sex each week as opposed to single or cohabiting individuals. This has health benefits (not just because exercise is praiseworthy), as sex releases endorphins that improve mood and can reduce stress (and encourage more of the same).

Mental issues

Various studies indicate that married men or women are far less likely to commit suicide than their single counterparts, and the same goes for alcohol and illegal drugs. In fact, an international study has found that married people are likely to be significantly happier than unmarried ones. (I don’t know how they quantify happiness, but these studies appear to have been carried out scientifically.)

Conclusion

Of course, there are unsuccessful marriages (the divorce rate alone indicates that) and, as I have said, some of the so-called evidence seems hard to demonstrate as hard fact, but there is enough here to convince me that I am doing the right thing by helping people get married! There do seem to be some massive fringe benefits for my couples!

Michael Gordon can prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London, or, indeed, in Europe.

Wedding Day Health – civil celebrant and wellness consultant collide!

Wedding Day Health – civil celebrant and wellness consultant collide!

In addition to being a civil celebrant, I am a wellness consultant, so why not put my two areas of expertise together? Pleased as I would be to conduct your wedding, I’d like to help ensure that you enjoy wedding day health!

So here are a few useful tips.

Before the Wedding

Rest

In the run-up to your wedding, try and get as much rest as possible. I know, there’s often last minute planning, seating arrangements  or problems with suppliers to contend with, but you obviously want to avoid stress as much as possible.

At least, manage some early nights – and maybe a bit of pampering (massage etc.). Then you’ll perform much better.

Water

Everybody should drink about 2 litres of water a day (on average) as a given. You certainly should not neglect that. Being hydrated can avoid back pain and can also have a positive effect on your skin.

Food

You may well be focusing on how you are going to look on the day, but don’t neglect regular meals. Ensure you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

During the Wedding

photo courtesy of Neli Prahova

Food (again!)

The bride, especially, is likely to find that everyone wants to talk and there’s little opportunity to eat anything. So if it’s a buffet, get someone to fetch a plate or two for you. At a sit-down meal, make sure you don’t spend all your time circulating. You should be able to enjoy your meal too. You do need to eat and keep your strength up (if only, to be able to cut the cake!).

Drink

There’s likely to be a lot of drink flowing, and why not? However, you might do well to have a glass of water between each glass of alcohol.

Rest

See if you can arrange a little quiet time to relax between the day and evening receptions.  That will enable you to get through a delightful, but demanding, day comfortably.

After the Wedding

Honeymoon

Depending where you are going, beware of too much sun, especially early on. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, if it’s safe (there are portable bottles with filter systems available).

Bring a mini-medical kit with you (we usually take a few magnets, actually!).

Finally – although this could have gone in the “Before Your Wedding” section – ensure you have received any vaccinations you may need.

Wishing you a healthy wedding and honeymoon!

With thanks to Neli Prahova (www.neliprahova.com) for the photo.

Michael Gordon is a civil celebrant based in London.

Marriage and health go hand-in-hand?

Marriage can be stressful. Can marriage and health really go together?

Apparently so. Cardiologists will tell you that being unmarried increases the risk of heart attacks in both women and men, regardless of age.

Even cohabiting couples have better prospects. Those unmarried – men (168%) and women (175%) – have higher chances of death after heart attacks. So says the “European Society of Cardiology”.

Why?

Reasons could be that people already in ill health may be less likely to marry or more likely to divorce. Alternatively, married people enjoy higher levels of social support, leading them to make healthier choices.

But there could well be other explanations.

Strengthening ties

Whatever the health benefits, you’ll probably agree with my earlier statement that marriage can still be stressful. Everybody needs to work at it.

In order to build that relationship, you should try a few strategies. Many are plain common-sense – but we don’t always do what is sensible!

Eight Suggestions

1. Touch each other regularly. This doesn’t have to be sexual. I remember Jack Canfield stating that about nine hugs a day is ideal.

2. Communicate. Don’t allow grievances to build up. Vent – but don’t overdo it! And don’t criticise for the sake of it. It’s good to validate your partner when you can.

3. Be nice. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you are justified in taking out all your irritations on your partner. You can still be kind, polite and respectful.

4. Treat your partner like a friend. You both have each other’s best interests at heart, so develop that relationship.

5. Don’t let yourself down. Don’t present yourself to the world as a flirt and attention-seeker (unless that is how you are with your partner). Don’t put strain on your relationship.

6. A little attention won’t hurt. Occasionally showing your partner you care, with a little gift, say, can help cement the relationship. Praise and gratitude are great too!

7. Try and be positive. This will help you both get through the day. Of course, there are going to be problems to be faced.

8. Be prepared to develop. You should (both) try new things from time to time, whether it be a self-development course or a new hobby. Getting stuck in a rut will benefit nobody.

I hope you’ll agree that, with only a little work, you can improve your marriage AND your health at the same time! Please try it – and report back to me!

Michael is a celebrant based in London.