Marriage vs Cohabitation

Cohabitating couples happier, have better self-esteem than married counterparts

A new study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family reveals that married couples experience few advantages for psychological well-being, health, or social ties compared to unmarried couples who live together. While both marriage and cohabitation provide benefits over being single, these reduce over time following a honeymoon period.

. . .

Previous research has sought to prove a link between marriage and well-being, but many studies compared marriage to being single, or compared marriages and cohabitations at a single point in time.

This study compares marriage to cohabitation while using a fixed-effects approach that focuses on what changes when single men and women move into marriage or cohabitation and the extent to which any effects of marriage and cohabitation persist over time.

Dr Musick drew a study sample from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) of 2,737 single men and women, 896 of whom married or moved in with a partner over the course of 6 years. The study focused on key areas of well-being, considering questions on happiness, levels of depression, health, and social ties.

The results showed a spike in well-being immediately following both marriage and cohabitation as couples experienced a honeymoon period with higher levels of happiness and fewer depressive symptoms compared to singles. However, these advantages were short lived.

Marriage and cohabitation both resulted in less contact with parents and friends compared to remaining single – and these effects appeared to persist over time.

“We found that differences between marriage and cohabitation tend to be small and dissipate after a honeymoon period. Also while married couples experienced health gains – likely linked to the formal benefits of marriage such as shared healthcare plans – cohabiting couples experienced greater gains in happiness and self-esteem. For some, cohabitation may come with fewer unwanted obligations than marriage and allow for more flexibility, autonomy, and personal growth” said Musick.

“Compared to most industrial countries America continues to value marriage above other family forms,” concluded Musick. “However our research shows that marriage is by no means unique in promoting well-being and that other forms of romantic relationships can provide many of the same benefits.”

Our Yule

We had a good Yule. I ate too much shrimp but am unrepentant! We also had stuffed acorn squash, bread sticks, and Champagne. While we ate, we could see the line of icicles along the patio roof in the outside lights. That really added to the Yule spirit! As did the single digit temps!

We had our gift exchange. Donna seemed more interested in her glass whistling teakettle than anything! I ordered it because her coffee pot didn’t make her tea water hot enough; then I broke the carafe on it and got another Mr. Coffee which keeps water hot. So the teapot may be extraneous!

I got an electronic Scrabble dictionary but am figuring out how to use it for FB’s Words With Friends; I have some tough opponents and could use a little help against them! I got a couple of SF books, some LED light “bulbs”, some clothes, and some rawhide chews. Oh, wait. Those were Lily’s. Lol.

Even with the cold temps last night (6 was the lowest we saw.), our water didn’t freeze. Yay!

Tonight we will be in Cañon City for dinner with my other son, Scott, and his family. And to give them the various “stocking stuffer” gifts we have.

The boys will celebrate Christmas at their Mother’s house. I will celebrate it in my own bed!

Remembering Dad

My brother sent me an e-mail reminding me that yesterday was the anniversary of Dad’s passing away.

We lost him a year ago yesterday. I was thinking 19th, but it
was the 17th. I think of him often, remembering. We were lucky
to have had such a good father. JG

I would likely have remembered when his birthday came up next week but it was good to get the reminder.

This is a picture of the picture of him being formally awarded his Purple Heart from WWII while he was at Big Spring.

An E-mail from My Brother in Texas

From 8/11:
It’s raining! First rain since 06/21…it smells great and looks even better!
Temperature is 76.3–I’m ecstatic! JG

Texas is Hot!

Last Wednesday, my brother who lives near Decatur, TX, reported that the temp was 113° at 1:30 PM! But his grill thermometer in the sun showed 135°. He prudently didn’t give it a touch test!

This makes me feel better about our 90s.