Marriage solve all Problems
July 28, 2009, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Commentary

and divorce causes them.

This CNN article explains how divorcees tend to have more health problems than people who were never divorced. And that being remarried solves a lot of those problems, because

Married women have more financial security, which means better access to health care and reduced stress, Waite said.

“Married men have better health habits,” she said in comparison to single males. “They lead a cleaner, healthier life, and less times in bars and eat better. Women tend to manage men’s interactions with the medical system, get him in for colonoscopy and make sure they get flu shot.”

You know, because women do all the cleaning, and men make all the money. And women micromanage. And without women around, men don’t know how to take care of themselves. Meanwhile,

Those who did not remarry after a divorce or a spouse’s death showed deficits in mental and physical health. Waite called this the “double whammy” because they don’t get the protective effects of marriage and have gone through a “damaging, health-destroying experience.”

Where to begin! First of all, there’s absolutely no mention of same sex relationships, so the gender stereotypes abound.

Furthermore, I’m a product of divorced parents. And you know what? Divorce was great for my family. If my parents never got divorced, I don’t think I’d be nearly as well-adjusted or confident as I am – and I know my mom wouldn’t be nearly as happy and independent. My parents needed divorce in order to keep on living. So I’m bound to take issue with this article. And hey – what about abusive relationships? Does losing that financial security matter if you’re getting your life back? Autonomy? NO! Your health will suffer!

And if we start talking about abusive relationships, this article completely fails – in an abusive relationship, you won’t get those all-important “protective effects of marriage” in the first place. and the “double whammy” might not seem so bad, because the “damaging, health-destroying experience” was your marriage, not your divorce.

Sigh. Maybe the divorce rate rising isn’t an indicator that people are giving up or that marriages are less happy overall – maybe it’s just that people are more able and ready to get out of a shitty situation. And that’s something to be celebrated.


10 Comments so far
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Hogwash I say — since my divorce, I have lost weight, am exercising more, and am eating better. I know a lot of other young women in the same boat. I would be interesting to see the stats and stratification of the sample in this study.

Comment by Sarah

This article is a horrible blanket assessment. First of all, I observe on a daily basis sad and unhealthy marriages that needed to end years ago; instead, the couples are staying together mainly for the kids and for financial reasons (hence the inevitable extra-marital affairs to tolerate the misery). One friend knows that her three teenage boys will also have dysfunctional marriages, because that’s all they know, and she has accepted it lest she has to go through the divorce process and decide who gets to stay in the mansion. They live a facade that all is well, when in fact there is zero affection in the bedroom. Her depression is progressive, and every time she sees me, she commends me for my bravery and that she envies me and my life. Her health is slowly deteriorating, and her scenario is so common. I might not be the norm, but my scenario does exist. I left my unhealthy marriage 10 years ago, it was an ugly drama-filled end — but it ended. For years now, he and I have enjoyed and do enjoy civility and a thriving “business” of fully and actively co-raising two extremely happy teenage boys who are involved in competitive sports and in the gifted program at a college prep school. I am 43, love a full-time para-professional job, am healthy as can be, have a body age of 24, and have no desire to live with a man or ever re-marry. I am all for monogamy, though only when and for as long as the relationship is anxiety-free. Think about it — if the man-made marital union idea would be accepted as not for everyone and certainly only a one time deal, this country would be much better off. Imagine! Women and men would have to get off their butts and work to support themselves, there would be less divorce lawyers to fuel angry couples’ fights. Importantly, if no one would pressure anyone to get married, if everyone would stop making people feel like there is something wrong with them if they’re not married or even in a relatioship, this world would have more emotionallly secure and productive people. There would be less pity parties for sure!

Comment by happily single and proud

The article is ridiculous! How about people in abusive relationships! It by far is MORE HEALTHY to leave an abusive marriage! I was married for 6 years and I was young and had more health problems! I gained weight (which I have since lost!I look and feel better than I ever have) and had lower back and foot problems! It was the stress of a bad marriage! It is way more healthy to be alone than be with someone who makes you sick.

Now, I would probably tend to agree that if the two people in the marriage are happy! Than sure, technically they could be healthier or equal to that of their happily single counter parts!

And finally, they studied middle aged folks..and middle age is when people start to get sick any way! So in my is ALL BS!

Comment by tracey

Did the authors of this study think to see what the divorced couples’ medical histories were BEFORE they got divorced, or were they just using the data to support the conclusion they wanted in the first place? Did these health problems just suddenly pop up because the couples got divorced, or were there underlying factors and conditions that were there all along? This is bull. I agree with the first comment, as a product of parents who had a terrible marriage, that the stress of staying in a bad relationship is far more damaging than calling it what it is and stepping away. Sometimes people NEED to not be together anymore. I take better care of myself now that I am on my own because I know my daughters primarily depend on me to be healthy and happy, and I am the daily influence on them at home.

Comment by Disbelieving

Hogwash. I know many happy divorced people! Healthier and better than ever. Come on! This is unbelieveable and not true. I am living proof.

Comment by Jane

This article is moronic.

Comment by Jane

This article is completely junk. It makes no mention of a marriage gone bad. Is staying in an unhealthy marriage better than not being married? a big NO. And what if there’s no sex, you provide 90% of the income, 50% of which the wife can take whenever she chooses, no concern about husband’s health, in fact, it’s vice versa. What a lousy deal and what a moron the person who wrote this.

Comment by TB

I wonder how many “straight” marriages have been saved from divorce since the passage of Prop 8?! I know Gay Marriage was SUCH a threat to heterosexual marriage and the root of all heterosexual marital problems, but I’m SHOCKED that divorces still CONTINUE after the passage of Prop 8!!?? The Passage of PROP 8 was to PROTECT marriage!!!!!!!!
Care to comment Focus on the Family? Any Mormons? No? I guess you were full of #$%^ after all, just like everyone thought you were.

Comment by David

As I was reading this article I felt like I was traveling back in time to the 1950’s.

Comment by Mimi in Dallas

I would like to join with my fellow posters here in decrying the blanket tunnel vision of this article. My health increased greatly because of my divorce. I can run faster and jump higher 🙂 and am near perfect body weight. I have a sense of joy, and freedom, and renewal of youth. The happiness that I had given up during my prior marriage I can now reclaim.

Comment by Larry

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