It’s something that’s baffled scientists for decades — people who are happily married actually live longer than people who are single or divorced. Some science backs this up.
And though there’s also some science out there that doesn’t back this up, it’s easy to see that there are some lifestyle factors characteristic of married couples that might help a person to live a longer life.
Married couples probably aren’t going out and drinking as often, for instance, and likely have a steadier source of income. It’s also likely that people who are married are cooking at home and eating fewer restaurant meals that could be loaded with extra sodium, fat, and calories.
But it might not only be the lifestyle factors that make an impact. Could the happiness of a stable marriage be the thing that impacts longevity? Some studies show that while happy couples tend to live longer, people in unhappy or unstable marriages are immune to this benefit. So the simple presence of a ring on your finger won’t help you live a longer life — you’d have to find someone who actually makes you happy.
To understand more about the issue, we asked a few experts on marriage and happiness what they thought were the real factors that impact longevity for married people; we also looked at a couple of studies that revealed certain health benefits of marriage. What we found were 15 plausible reasons that married people might live longer.