The Health Benefits of Marriage
September 13, 2023
I’m sure we are all aware of the Islamic benefits of marriage, in particular the famous hadith of how marriage completes half our deen, “Whomever Allah blesses with a righteous wife, He has helped him with half of his religion, so let him fear Allah with regards to the other half” [Al-Mu’jam Al-Awsaṭ 992].
Marriage is strongly encouraged among Muslims, especially when we're young in order to protect our chastity: according to hadith, the prophet Muhammad (SAW) said “O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding chastity” [Sunan an-Nasa'i 3209].
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Clearly, there are many benefits of being married, but did you know there are Western studies to show the benefits of marriage on our physical health and well-being?
Here are just 7 examples of how:
Note: The examples below are based on couples in happy marriages. Results are different for individuals in stressed and unhappy marriages.
Table of Contents
3) The heart
1) Marriage makes us physically stronger
It’s true! This is one of the benefits of marriage. Research in the UK has shown that married people over the age of 60 are stronger than unmarried, widowed, or cohabiting people. They have stronger grips and walk faster and further than others.
Having a partner by our side can provide motivation, support, and accountability. We can encourage each other to stay active, push our limits, and achieve our fitness goals. Plus, working out together can be a lot of fun and strengthen our bond as a couple.
But wait, there's more! Marriage can also make us physically stronger through the support and care our spouse provides. When we're feeling tired or unwell, our partner can step in and help with tasks that require physical strength.
Whether it's lifting heavy objects, doing household chores, or assisting with manual labour, having a spouse who can share the load can prevent us from getting overwhelmed or straining ourselves. They've got our back and can be our partners in tackling physical challenges, making us stronger both inside and out.
I’m sure in a marriage we all feel like our spouse can drive us crazy from time to time, and their nagging or dad jokes may annoy us. But knowing the benefits of being married can help us get through it much easier.
Related content: Things I wish someone told me before my Muslim marriage
Married people were actually found to live longer than those without a spouse! A survey based on American men found that married men live longer than those unmarried.
If you're questioning the validity of this and wondering whether it could be due to these married men not being lonely, well it was found that even men who were living with a partner without being married had lower mortality rates compared to those who were married. Marriage really is beneficial to our health Subhanallah.
3) The heart
Yes, marriage fills our hearts with love and a warm tenderness, but did you know that there are actually scientific benefits to the health of our hearts too?
Evidence has shown that married people are 14% more likely to survive a heart attack, and are shown to recover quicker and leave the hospital earlier than single people!
Why is this? Well, research finds that couples in happy marriages have stronger immune systems, and lower cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, compared to single people.
Among the benefits of marriage is the emotional and social support we get from our partners. When we're married, we have our loved ones who care for us, understand us, and provide a shoulder to lean on.
This support system can help us better manage stress, which is a known risk factor for heart disease. Plus, our spouse can encourage and motivate us to adopt healthier lifestyle behaviours, like eating well and being physically active.
There you go, this adds to the other crucial benefits of being married.
4) Mental health
Generally, mental health is better when you’re (happily!) married. This is most likely due to the fact that you have a strong social support network. You always have someone you can talk to and share your problems with, who will help you destress and will always be there for you.
Having a lack of social support is strongly linked to high depression rates, loneliness, and social isolation, which can be detrimental to health.
However, having a loving partner means we never have to face life's challenges alone. They're there to give us emotional support when we're feeling down, stressed, or overwhelmed. They listen, encourage us, and give the best hugs that make everything feel better.
And guess what? They're also there to celebrate our wins, big or small, and cheer us on as we chase our dreams. It's like having a personal cheerleader who always has our back.
But wait, the benefits of being married haven't ended! Our spouse also helps us when we need it. They're willing to help with chores, run errands, or lend a hand with childcare. Plus, having a spouse means we always have someone to share life's ups and downs with, someone who truly gets us.
It’s very interesting to see that when it comes to cancer, married individuals have an advantage in terms of survival, compared to singles. This could be due to the points discussed previously: lower stress levels, stronger immune systems etc.
There is clearly wisdom in Islam encouraging marriage because the benefits of being married are evident.
Related content: What are the Muslim marriage rules?
However, it is important to note that we must always be careful when making assumptions from research.
Just because you are happily married, it doesn't guarantee you will live longer and be stronger than others; these are just the links that have been found.
6) Healthier behaviours
Among other health benefits of marriage, we can mention that our partner can encourage us to have healthier behaviours. When we say "healthier behaviours," we mean the choices we make to care for ourselves physically and mentally. It's all about what we eat, move, sleep, manage stress, and stay away from the wrong stuff.
And guess what? These behaviours are super important for our overall health and can really make a big difference in preventing diseases, living longer, and having a better life.
Now, one major healthy behaviour is eating a good, balanced diet. That means enjoying a mix of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Yummy! This gives our bodies the nutrients they need and helps us avoid any deficiencies.
Another important thing is regular exercise. It doesn't have to be crazy hard or boring. Exercise can boost our heart health, make our muscles stronger, improve our mood, and keep us safe from problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Besides food and exercise, other benefits of being married are related to stress management. We all know that too much stress can mess with our bodies and minds, causing things like high blood pressure, sadness, and anxiety. But the good news is that married people are able to manage stress more easily than unmarried ones.
7) Faster recovery from illness
So, how marriage can help us get better faster when we're sick?
When you're feeling down, having a caring spouse can be a game-changer. They're like superheroes who are there to give us emotional and practical support when things get tough. Their love and care can provide us with the strength and motivation to stay strong and focused on getting better.
Here's the cool part: Having a loving partner can actually speed up our recovery. They provide us with emotional support, and that's like magic for our mental well-being.
Feeling loved, understood, and comforted can lift our spirits and keep us positive even when we're not at our best.
And hey, our spouse can also help us in practical ways. They'll make sure we take our meds on time, stick to our treatment plans, and take care of ourselves.
There you go, these are some of the benefits of marriage. So, if you're not married, find your life partner on our marriage app Muzz.
In conclusion, the benefits of marriage are truly remarkable. As Muslims, we are well aware of the Islamic teachings that highlight the importance and blessings of marriage. And studies in Western societies also show that being married brings lots of good stuff.
First off, being married can make us physically stronger. Research shows that married folks have better physical strength and can move around more easily. Isn't that cool?
But that's not all! Marriage can actually help us live longer. And here's another benefit: marriage is like a superhero for our mental health. It gives us a strong support system and helps us fight off feelings of sadness, loneliness, and being isolated.