There has been quite a bit of research boasting the benefits of marriage, like that it can lead to improved mental and physical health. And now, thanks to a new study from Canada’s National Bureau of Economic Research, there’s another big (and very simple) reason you might want to consider age gap marriage—it makes you happier.
In the first part of the study, researchers looked at the “honeymoon phase”—the idea that the first couple years of marriage are always the happiest. Although it was true that the “honeymoon phase” was in fact the happiest, the findings showed that married couples still consciously enjoyed their marriage long after.
Another positive outcome of age gap marriage, according to the study, is that it makes it easier to get past the feared midlife crisis. It’s normal for people to experience a slight dip in their level of happiness during this stage in life, but the findings revealed that being married made it easier to cope with things that tend to bring people down, like work stress and caring for aging parents. It’s having that partner by your side that makes the difference, which leads to the third part of the study. It showed that the happiest married couples were the ones who believed that their significant other was also their best friend—the benefits of marriage were actually double for these couples.
Although this study didn’t focus specifically on age gap marriage, it does show that a committed union, whether there’s the age difference in marriage or not, comes with plenty of benefits. And if you’re not the marrying type, you might be interested to learn that couples who lived together over the long-term were almost as happy as the couples who legally tied the knot. This just goes to show that it’s not the age difference in marriage that matters—it’s having someone that you can lean on through thick and thin, no matter what. If that person happens to be a man who is 20 years older, then so be it. As long as you’re happy, that’s what counts.
Adams, R., “New Study Says You Should Marry Your Best Friend,” Huffington Post web site, January 9, 2015; http://goo.gl/0T6ISI.