Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Marriage Cookie

A popular saying in Hindi when translated means:
"Marriage is a cookie of the kind that one who eats it later regrets having eaten it and the one who doesn't eat it also regrets not having eaten it. Therefore, why not eat the cookie and regret it?"
Uh well, if research on marriage is to be trusted, it might call for revising this old adage.
An article in yesterday's issue of NYT discusses some studies on how relationships affect health and physical well-being. In general, researchers have found that:
  1. Healthy marital relationships hold the best promise for health and well-being. Married people, on an average, live longer and healthier lives than unmarried people.
  2. Unhealthy marital relationships are not good for health and well-being. "Troubled relationships can leave a person far less healthy than if he or she had never married at all  ...  if staying married means living amid constant acrimony, from the point of view of your health, you’re better off out of it".
  3. Staying single and unmarried is not good for one's health and well-being. However, it is still better than staying in an unhealthy marriage or losing one's spouse (to death or divorce) in marriage. Single people who have never married have better health than those who lost their spouse.
The idea that the article seems to suggest is: get married and stay on top of it, intervene early to resolve even small disagreements and avoid the "drip, drip" of negative interactions. Relationship stress and arguments in a marriage are unavoidable; however, arguments in themselves do not hurt the relationship as much as the emotional tone of arguments -- lack of affection and warmth  -- that cause real damage. Work for a happier relationship, "try harder to make it better", but in case the relationship does not get better, then get out of the relationship.
The key point that the article seems to make is that it is relationships and not just the institution of marriage that plays a role in one's physical well-being.

1 comment:

  1. the key to sucess in lve is respect n morals. we must realise that true lve is not about sex, and isntead about how we help others live better more respectful moral and purse driven lives. that is true love at its core, as it has no limitations or . romance is but a branch frm that. the west is lost on this concept, and there r many western girls, especially white ones who marry eastern guys and pretend to be pure, sumtimes their marriages last, but it's a bond made of bad things. the girls want attention money sex and an easy life n the men r obsessed with paleness (and always nab the ugliest hags!) to make a slap in the face of our culture, as well as being lured by a girl who will give them greencards, or sexual favours n such easily. it's very sad.