In my little town in Ohio, where divorce is common, I’ve heard a lot of people say that “marriage ruins relationships.”
I’ve heard stories from couples that seem to confirm this. They got married, and a month later they were back at the courthouse—filing for divorce.
But, in general, is it really true? Does marriage ruin relationships? Are your chances for lasting love better if you live with your boyfriend or girlfriend instead of getting married?
The evidence shows that statistically, marriage does not ruin relationships. For instance, parents who are cohabiting are actually three times more likely to split up after their child’s birth than married parents.
And when it comes to happiness, married twenty-somethings report higher levels of life satisfaction and less depression than their unmarried—both single and cohabiting—peers. And married parents report higher levels of happiness and less depression than unmarried parents.
All that’s to say, you shouldn’t be afraid of marriage.
Marriage probably won’t ruin your relationship or instantly zap your happiness. If your relationship is a solid one the research suggests that the commitment to marriage might actually boost your happiness.
Do you know a couple who really does live ‘happily ever after?’ What do you admire about their marriage?