Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Marriage and Well Being.................

A new study says Never Married People are more well-adjusted than previously thought.

I hope that's true, for the sake of those Never Marrieds, of course. I do have to add that the article sends so many mixed messages I found it interesting enough to talk about it here. Then the article ends with "But, he pointed out, the sample size of never-married participants in the study, a little over 100, is low. So, it's possible that a larger study with never-married people might produce different results. "

Do you find that important or complete enough a study to even publish it on Yahoo? Or do you agree with the premise...? Or strongly disagree? Is there an agenda? Is it another very subtle attempt at an anti-traditional values piece? I'd like to know what you think.

I was never happier than when I was married until exactly two months ago when Mr. Z passed away so suddenly.........so, perhaps, this is why this article interested me so much.

Any thoughts on yourself and this loosely-studied hypothesis that Never Marrieds "....actually have better emotional well-being than married people,"?

z

27 comments:

Always On Watch said...

An interesting study.

I know several never-marrieds. I can't say that they are happier or as happy as married folk, but I do not that the never-marrieds are more independent and more resourceful.

I will say that my never-married friends do complain that they hate to eat out alone. They also hate going to the cinema alone.

BTW, all my never-married friends have pets. Pets appear to ease the loneliness of waking up every morning without another human in the house.

Linda said...

I have a few never married folks as friends, and the women are looking for a man!

My sister has been a widow for 19 years, and she tells me that if she ever wants to marry again to lock her in the closet until she comes back to her senses! LOL!

Me, I've been married to the 1st one for over 44 years, and hope we have a few good ones left! ☺

FJ said...

"Well adjusted." I'd ask the study author precisely what that means. If "well adjusted" means NOT reproducing biologically and willing killing their fetuses sp as to not be bothered providing for children, then today's never married generation is extremely "well adjusted".

FJ said...

btw - the study does not take into consideration the fifty million +/- aborted fetuses that will never make it into midlife to be surveyed in the next go round... does it?

Anonymous said...

I wonder why these studies are important. I wonder why anyone thinks these studies are worth the money spent to produce them. How relevant are they? Now I suppose if the crime rates decreased because psychologists are no longer robbing 7-11 stores, then it might be worth the millions of taxpayer dollars to produce such amazing findings. Amazing, I suspect and as relevant as one involving the production of methane gas among sheep in New Zealand.

Semper Fi

Mustang

Faith said...

That study is so inconclusive it's useless. I can say that having lived alone for almost twenty-five years I know I couldn't adjust to having a mate at this point. I've got my routines worked out and change throws me for a loop. I must also say, however, that it would be nice to have the companionship and the help you get from a mate that is missing when you live alone. No idea what any of this has to do with being "well adjusted" though. We may "adjust" well enough to all kinds of situations even if we'd in fact be happier in some other state. How could we know?

You were so happily married that although I can certainly see you over time getting adjusted to your singleness and making the most of it, I can't see you being as genuinely happy as you were.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I think what's possibly even more imporant is this: recognize yourself. And be true.

That is to say, if it is your nature to abhore monogamy, then do NOT get married. I know too many people, included a few gay couples, who don't "get" that concept and, once married, strayed to the point where it is such common knowledge that the ONLY one not knowing is the other spouse.

And do I believe single people compensate for companionship with animals.

BZ

Brooke said...

My opinion on this... You can't miss what you've never had.

Humans are meant to seek out a mate, it is a cruelty of biology that one must outlive the other.

Z-man said...

This is one of those subjects that can touch a raw nerve, for instance soapie and I fall into this category. I myself have heard young people say why should I get married only to get divorced and they say this because of our at least 50% divorce rate and I tend to agree with this logic. In fact I'd think you'd be more depressed after marrying and divorcing than if you just stayed single. Also how many of us get married out of some sense of social conformity, because it's expected but are not happy in the long run. Zep has a great point and it really applies to Tiger Woods, can't figure out why he got married in the first place when apparently he had so many wild oats to sow. But I really agree with Anon what is the relevancy of such studies and I would only add such tender topics can tend to agitate one of the groups under question so why do them in the first place?

beamish said...

All of my siblings have divorces and re-marriages. I just break up and move on if I have to / want to / need to. It's worked splendidly so far.

My brother jokes to me that divorces are expensive because "they're worth it."

My cousin (a bit on the "touched in the head" side) had to split everything in half after a divorce from his ex-wife, so he did, with a chainsaw LOL.

I'll "settle down" someday, I think. Statistically divorce was / is so common in my generation that it's a near certainty that plenty of "never-marrieds" got married before they should have or in spite of each other and themselves got married when they never should have.

Ultimately I'm not sure how you'd gauge "well adjusted" and I would think "never marrieds" are a statistical division that needs to be defined by age somewhat (there's plenty of "never married" children in Western society. How old does one have to be to fret over never marrying?

highboy said...

Got married when I was just turning 18. It will be our 10 year anniversary on January 6.

Anonymous said...

"(the tendency to focus on oneself, which is good for mental health)"

I'm not so sure. In fact that's probably why they're "never marrieds." They can't make the committment, or don't want to.

I know someone who's been saying for years he want's kids, but goes from relationship to relationship. He likes being single.

His problem is, he want's to do what he wants and doesn't care to make compromises, or change his lifestyle. He's totally focused on himself. So he's a bachelor. So what? He's probably done some gal a big favor, staying single.

So, I can't agree that focusing on yourself is necessarily good for mental health. It sure isn't great for relationships.

I do think there would be fewer divorces if people were less focused on themselves. "My way or the highway", won't lead to a happy married life.

Who needs a study? People are people, we're not all the same. I don't think mental health hinges on being married, or not.


Pris

RightKlik said...

It would be interesting to review the original report, but I'm suspicious of any study that finds marriage to be of little value. That's just my bias.

Z said...

RightKlik caught my bent on this story.

obviously, not everyone is meant to marry; obviously, many don't meet anyone who does it enough for them to make a commitment.

But, I think all of you have something to add to the discussion and carefully consider, I really do...thanks.
I was hoping to get more of a rousing discussion, maybe it's just not THAT interesting....

I think it is mostly from the 'bias' point of view RK hit on.

Pris is right...egos have to go when you marry; you have to love and RESPECT enough to commit.

WITHOUT RESPECT, SKIP IT.

that's my biggest advice on marriage.
The other is "if you're feeling out of love, pretend you love and it'll come back" I promise.

Thankfully, I didn't have to do that much. I was very, very lucky. I believe I still am.

xxx

sue said...

I've know people that have never been married and are well adjusted and happy.

Marriage can be difficult but living alone can have it's drawbacks.

Children also make a difference in marriage.

It depends on the cimcumstances and the individual.

Also, if you have always lived alone, that is different than later being forced to do this.

Elmers Brother said...

my guess is that TARP money paid for this study

FJ said...

...it must have been a "shovel ready" study, eh, elbro?

Chuck said...

I'd like to make some kind of joke about being more sane if I were not married but I suspect I drive my wife crazier than she drives me.

I don't want to dispute someone else's happiness because we cannot determine that for them. After 21 years though, I believe I am the better for having been married.

Z said...

Elbro and FJ, that CRACKED ME UP!

Chuck...I know I am the better for having been married: NO doubt about it.
We're blessed. I hope many are.

Jen said...

I have no idea what 'well adjusted' means.

Marriage has sure taught me a LOT about myself.

My desire is for joy and fulfillment out of life. There's no way to avoid pain and suffering. If you can have joy and fulfillment WITH marriage, I'd think that would be better.

sue said...

With the divorce rate so high, sometimes I wonder what marriage is all about. How can two people live their entire life together. Yet when my dad died not too long ago my parents would have been married 70 years. And they never thought of anything but each other. They loved and cared for one another the whole time. Sure they had some hard times, but they were what marriage was all about.
Their faith got them through. You won't find that too much in the future.

Z said...

Sue, I agree with you; we won't find that in the future too much.
People respected each other in the old days..they stayed together because community expected it..they didn't expect utter happiness every ten minutes, which NOBODY ever has, anyway, of course. And, generally, their children flourished from a 'whole' home of respect and affection if not rapturous puppy love!

What younger people today don't understand is that love comes back even if it's been gone a while; you just don't act out on a cute co worker, or neighbor, just because you're bored for a few months. Anyway, that's my take on it. Obviously, if someone really changes, or misrepresented themselves before marriage, that's different.
Remember when moms would say "What kind of family does he come from?" That is now deemed old fashioned and even judgmental but it worked! I'm generalizing but, for the most part, it worked when you knew someone came from a 'good' home...not rich, but decent.

We EXPECTED better from people years ago. We sure don't anymore, in general. People used to try to live UP to that expectation.

NOT ANYMORE!

sue said...

Z - Well put. But one of my theories on the divorce rate is that women are more independent now. They have more education, and jobs. If they want to leave, they can support themselves.

My mother couldn't do that. But then I know she never would have wanted to. Since my dad died she has done well at 94 now, but I know she is lost without him.

And what you say is right. Couples expect too much happiness. That comes from our society of having what we want instantly, and lacking patience for the right things in life.

Z said...

Sue, as smart as I think women are, I am a woman who feels moms should stay home for their childrens' sakes...there are so many mothers who work for a Mercedes instead of an Olds, or a pool instead of no pool.........
Again, I'm generalizing, but it's true. Our women were dependent then and it helped families stay together and grow good, confident and secure children.

Yes, women weren't quite so able to leave, particularly if they had children...........but I think that might have been a better thing. Unless the man's a cad or gains 100 pounds or something, one DOES develop affection again and again...and leaving is almost always not the ticket, in my humble opinion.

Well, I think our kids today don't even know HOW to pick a mate. Look at the examples they have on TV, let alone celebrities. This brings to mind LEAVE IT TO BEAVER and how horribly insulting the talk-over host on whatever channel it's on now (Nick at Nite?) was recently when promoting the next hour of shows..he said "...then later we have that stupid kid Beaver on who always does the right thing and makes you want to heave" (or something that rotten, I paraphrase) .... People can't TAKE good anymore! You know?

You're so right in what you say in that last sentence.

Z-man said...

I'm repeating myself here but seems this study and others like it, maybe the agenda is to agitate. These type studies just seem to pit one group against another as if one group is bad or dysfunctional and the other group is better and I simply say what's the point?? "Never Marrieds vs. the Married" but do the Married stay Married? what are the definition of terms here? You know z I think I'll blog about this today.

Z said...

Z-Man...I think there is something to the 'pitting against each other' thing...good point

Z-man said...

I even take issue with Anon's points about the never-marrieds not wanting to change their lifestyles. No doubt in many cases this is true but in many other cases it's simply a case of the person hasn't found anybody yet, hasn't really fallen in love with anybody. I think this is one of those subjects where the married feel somewhat superior to the never-married, social conservative commentator Maggie Gallagher falls into this category and I remember a column of hers once basically saying the married are more well-adjusted than the never-married. Are the never-married better off than the married or are the married in a better place than the non-married? actually I take neither position and so I do agree with you that there is some type of undercurrent to these studies. Maybe it ain't healthy.