2013 June 22 Saturday
Cohabiters Happier Than Married People

I'm thinking it makes guys happier to not be trapped in a sex-less marriage.

The study, which followed 2,737 people for 6 years, found that cohabiters said they were happier and more confident than married couples and singles.

What is going on here? A few possibilities:

  • Women in marriages think they can stop trying as hard. Put on weight. Don't wear make-up. Get stingier with sex. Bet cohabiters have more sex.
  • Married people feel trapped. Just the knowledge that the only way out is divorce court makes unhappiness even worse.
  • The kinds of people who want to get married may feel more duty-bound. Not going as much for happiness.
  • Marriages last longer and give people more time to get unhappy with each other.

Got any more ideas on this?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 June 22 08:07 PM 


Comments
Amdg said at June 23, 2013 2:05 AM:

A degenerate society, a civilisation actually, unable to reproduce itself. The death of a civilisation is always a rather bloody affair. Childless cohabiters are going to experience rather difficult times.

destructure said at June 23, 2013 3:45 AM:

Unhappy cohabiters are more likely to cut and run whereas married couples are more likely to stick it out. Plus, those who marry are generally taking on heavier and more stressful responsibilities ie mortgage, children, etc. Most cohabiters would never survive that. In fact, cohabiters have higher break-up rate even with lesser responsibilities. And when a former cohabiter gets married they have higher divorce rates. That's because cohabiters generally have commitment issues. Cohabiting does serve a useful purpose, though. It let's you know who the high risk people are so you can avoid them.

destructure said at June 23, 2013 3:47 AM:

Unhappy cohabiters are more likely to cut and run whereas married couples are more likely to stick it out. Plus, those who marry are generally taking on heavier and more stressful responsibilities ie mortgage, children, etc. Most cohabiters would never survive that. In fact, cohabiters have higher break-up rate even with lesser responsibilities. And when a former cohabiter gets married they have higher divorce rates. That's because cohabiters generally have commitment issues. Cohabiting does serve a useful purpose, though. It let's you know who the high risk people are so you can avoid them.

Mike said at June 23, 2013 6:17 AM:

In order to be valid, you really need to break down cohabiters and marrieds by the time they have been in that situation. Comparing a couple married for 20 years with a couple living together 2 years is going to give wildly different responses.

Audacious Epigone said at June 27, 2013 5:50 PM:

Although older people consistently rate themselves as being more happy than younger people do, in isolation age is actually inversely correlated with happiness (but a lot of other things that are associated with age, most notably wealth, correlate positively with happiness). That might be at play here.

WJ said at June 30, 2013 4:23 PM:

Oh dear. Look, if Western Civilization is to survive, we need more people (yes, I mean white people) to have more children and raise them responsibly. Marriage enables that. Yes, sometimes you get hosed. Yes, sometimes it's a drag. But all-in-all, marriage is the best route to happiness, financial success, good health, longevity, and all the rest. Virtually every study backs this up.

There is more than one way out of an unhappy marriage: resolve, preferably with your spouse, but alone if necessary, to do things which make your marriage happier: be a better person, put more effort into your life and your relationship, set aside the low-reward expenditures of time (television, surfing the web, etc.) and commit that time to more worthy activities (physical activity, vacation, dates, etc.)

Mthson said at June 30, 2013 7:38 PM:

There's good news: romantic relationships get easier the smarter we are.


Linda Gottfredson shows divorce rates decrease with bright IQ (source).

Factor in non-IQ measurements like positive temperament and sense of duty & honor, and I'm sure the divorce rate drops even further.


The challenges of relationships and child-rearing seem simplistic compared with complex professional challenges.


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