13 thoughts on “Every Time You Hear that Getting Married Will Make You Happier, Read This

  • March 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I wonder why these studies never determine whether the single people they’re studying want to be single. Surely that’s a vitally important factor, as Bella pointed out. And surely they could poll the single people they’re studying and ask them how they feel about being single before they start the comparisons with the married subjects.

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    • March 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Yeah, that is amazing. Seems so obvious if you take the point of view of the single people, instead of always thinking like a married person.

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    • March 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

      They’re on their own if they’re thinking per the slightest slant that they should ever [bl]undertake for but one nanose_cond’ucive in entertaining any thoughts of merrily marrying two serious synapses together in holy matri_manic. Land sakes, we live in h_ope’rant conditioning. No doubt they’re hell-bent on being doggedly determined to determine something, but until they commence adopting a categorical c_at’titude of making it their sole objective to remain thusly s_o’bjective throughout their research they’ll but subject themsel_ves’ted in having to contend with callous and condign ridicu_le’x talionis. :o)

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  • March 18, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Their highly risible and futile attempt to perpetuate such a miserable misologist’s myth is a veritable insult to intelligence, something that — unlike the measure of their boundless and blankly bizarre bias — seems seriously lacking in their magistral “makeup”, and I’m sure they’d not relish it one wheedling whit in their being “singled-out” for some special treatment like an equally slanted and quite p_un’relenting stig_ma’tri*moan*ial stereoty_py’rrhic.

    Perhaps they’re not destined to ever see the light until shadily shown that the basis of their random results amounts to nothing more than that of a recklessly-reckoned reductio ad absur_dum’b-founding.

    Methinks that any hope of their securing some semblance of sensibility has perhaps been overtaken by the “availability heuristic” of the well-known lyrics of the song that goes: “Love and marriage, love and marriage, goes together like a horse and carriage”. But there’s a “hitch”, and it’s simply this, not many at all of those persons who ever partook of “Hobson’s choice” are on record as having been even half-happy in endeavouring to surmount their lot in life’s lovingly-attac_hed’onism…but they just let it ride all the s_*ame damnee*. :o)

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  • March 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Obviously, when methodology gets in the way of prejudices and biases, methodology looses.
    Always.
    Even when people involved are scientist, or have been educated with love and respect for objectivity, logical reasoning, and… deontology.

    It’s always reassuring to see respectable people “reminding” a couple of methodological points anyone producing or reading similar studies.

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  • March 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Being happy has a lot to do with ourselves. Who we are inside. Another person can never “make you” happy. Living near water with sunny days would make a lot of us happy, single or not!

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  • August 8, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for explaining the data gathering methodology in the meta-analysis of the 18 studies.

    As a biological scientist, I am appalled at the faulty methodology (non-random selection of group individuals, attributing ’cause and effect’ to observed differences between groups).

    As to reasons for being single, this topic doesn’t seem to get much play. None of my 4 siblings nor I formed a stable marriage (one married and divorced; the rest of us stayed single). I stayed single to avoid the depressing trap my mother fell into when she married. I am much better off single than married. Going against the societal push for marriage is tough. A couple go-rounds in therapy helped me accept this.

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  • September 30, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I’m a never-married, middle aged single. I don’t want to be married at all, but my happiness level as a single is slightly lessened because I don’t have a partner to do things with, travel, etc. The day-to-day aspect of marriage I don’t want at all. I have seen many unhappy marriages/divorces, including my parents, and was determined to never end up in that situation. I do have a few friends who have successful marriages. Not without their challenges. They were lucky — well suited for each other in many ways, including curiousity, intelligence, openness to experience, plus practicalities in life. Both partners in the couples were responsible, contributed equally to financial well-being as a couple, work, etc. They built a very secure life for themselves, full of travel, friends and family. Who wouldn’t be happy with that? That is the one advantage over staying single married couples can have — greater financial well-being, and that would contribute to their greater level of happiness.

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  • July 16, 2017 at 12:38 am

    I have two points. First, these studies are probably limited to the USA. If one did a study across cultures, maybe one could tease out the effect of social norms that you called out, that is the fact that marriage is expected, encouraged and rewarded in our society. Perhaps not every society does that.
    Second, you might discount such norming in the abstract and ask “what if we did not do this to single people?” which I fully agree would be a good thing. However, when asking the question “does marriage make you happier?” I think it is most useful to frame the question as implicitly accepting the context that real people live in, i.e., the question is, “given our current society, does marriage make you happier?”

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  • January 9, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    LOVE this! I don’t believe for a second that getting married makes people happy. Those that say that are filtering the data. I have been single for 12 years after a 10-year long unhappy marriage. I am happier than ever, and it’s only grown over the last 10 years, even after raising two kids ON MY OWN. I am very self-sufficient, in great health, financially secure and quite content.

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  • September 19, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    I would like to see the data for the suicide rate for married vs divorced/separated vs single men (and women). That may indicate the extreme ‘lack of happiness’ of various groups of males/females living in society.
    I suspect that happiness of ‘previously married’ men (and to a lesser degree, women) is lower for quite some time because of child custody and financial battles in the court/legal system. That is why they would be excluded from the ‘happiness’ study.

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    • September 9, 2019 at 8:55 am

      But those men would be included in the happiness studies. They would be designated as “single” and their misery counted as part of being “single” — although in truth, their misery came from being married and then divorced.

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  • September 9, 2019 at 8:50 am

    I’m late to the comments, but I wonder if part of this has to do with passing the belief system down through children. The belief that marriage makes you better/happier/healthier is obviously something that married people would like to believe, because it makes them feel good, and they pass that belief on to their children. On the other hand, single people, who generally don’t have kids (I’m not including single parents here), don’t have anyone to whom to pass on their beliefs that the single life is good and marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So there is a kind of built-in bias in terms of which beliefs get passed down to the next gen. Pro-marriage beliefs get passed down more often, because that’s where the kids come from. I’ll admit my theory gets a little murky if we include single parents.

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