Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Why Is Marriage the Key to Happiness?

The strongest families begin with the parents being married, and communities, states, and nations are soundest when a father and a mother head the vast majority of families. Lois M. Collins published an article titled “The case for marriage: Science says it’s the key to happiness.” A subtitle to her article states: “A variety of studies show a good marriage is something worth working for.” 

Brad Wilcox has an urgent message, just in time for Valentine’s Day: “Get Married.”

It’s the title of his new book and one of the subjects of his life’s work as a sociologist at the University of Virginia, home to the National Marriage Project, which he directs.

It’s also a heartfelt belief that he backs with reams of science.

Asked five reasons why people should marry, Wilcox emails this list: More sex. Less loneliness. More meaning. Better-adjusted kids. And a lot more happiness. “Nothing matters more than a good marriage for happiness today,” he told Deseret News. “Not money, education, job satisfaction, sexual frequency or even religious attendance.”

He said that a healthy marriage and good family environment “are more reliable pathways to a meaningful and happy life than even a good job.”

Wilcox is not alone in the belief that a good marriage brings meaning, companionship, more resources and greater life satisfaction to life. A long look at Gallup poll results shows it. Published studies in well-known journals show it. Reports like one just released by BYU’s Wheatley Institute called “The Soulmate Trap” show the benefits of a happy union.

The article by Collins has much more information about why social scientists encourage Americans to marry and to create happy marriages. Among reasons for why marriage brings greater happiness, Collins listed the following facts provided by Wilcox and other experts.

·         When Wilcox looked at the 2022 General Social Survey while researching his latest book, he said it showed a very small share of couples are not happy in their marriage. And if they’re not happy in their marriage, they’re not happy generally. They are certainly less happy than their single peers, he said.

·         Other experts, too, have noted the importance of the word “good” or healthy” in singing marriage’s praises. Kids do better when their parents have a good partnership.

·         Melissa Kearney … noted a few months ago, simple math plays a role in that. Two parents in the home have more resources – whether time or tangible things – to offer kids. And commitment to the kids and each other means everything.

·         Having two parents who are working together with the goal of kids who flourish is more likely in married-parent households, experts across the political aisle have told Deseret News.

·         “It’s still the case that there’s no group of Americans that are happier than married parents, on average,” Wilcox noted. “The reality is that for all of its difficulties, marriage is a major source of meaning and happiness for ordinary people, both men and women.”

·         Jonathan Rothwell, principal economist at Gallup, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a visiting scholar at George Washington University, used a different data set and came to largely the same conclusion about marriage’s benefits. [He wrote]: “This does not mean that marriage – as an institution or relationship – is necessarily the cause of happiness, though that certainly may be true. People who are persistently happier – or have attributes that tend to generate and sustain happiness, such as character traits like agreeableness, emotional stability and conscientiousness – may be more likely to seek out marriage and may be more likely to receive marriage proposals. Marital status is not randomly assigned.”

Again, I encourage you to read the article by Collins because there is much more evidence about the importance of marriage. If you want a strong community, state, and nation, then do your part and create a happy marriage and strong family.

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