Wedded bliss lasts about four years for most women, a leading psychologist has said.
Prof Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel laureate, said studies showed that beyond this the benefits of marriage were often outweighed by having less time to see friends and a larger household workload.
While those who stayed single were more likely to feel lonely and have less sex, they had greater freedom, more time to socialise and fewer chores, he said.
Of course, this is only true depending upon your definition of “freedom”, “socialize” and “chores.” Let me give my spin on what those words mean to me, after 14 years of marriage.
FREEDOM: I have freedom emotionally – I know someone loves me unconditionally so I am free from having to go hunting for that love anywhere else. I have freedom sexually – I don’t need porn or prostitutes or to go picking up women in bars; my wife satisfies me. I have freedom spiritually – Grace supports and sustains me. I have freedom recreationally – we love doing stuff together. I have freedom professionally – Grace encourages me in my work and interests; she makes it easier for me to do them.
SOCIALISE: Most of the singles I know tell me that not being married makes it harder, not easier, to socialise. This is one of the things that is often most painful about being single. My first point of social engagement is with my wife! She is my best friend. And together we socialise with many, many other people. Marriage is good for my social life.
CHORES: Why do we call work “chores?” Work has a dignity about it, even if it is routine and unexciting. Husband and wife working together can find dignity, pleasure even, in the most mundane of things.
Of course, I am a man, and this study was about women, but I think Grace would respond to it pretty much as I do. Anyway, the second report was much more encouraging:
A woman has been rescued from the jaws of a saltwater crocodile in Australia after her husband jumped onto its back and forced it to flee.
The attack took place in the Litchfield National Park near Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory.
The crocodile lunged at its victim as she stood on the banks of a river, locking its jaws around her legs before trying to drag her into the water.
Police have said the heroism of her husband almost certainly saved her.
As the crocodile attacked, Wendy Petherick shouted to her husband Norm who told reporters he acted instinctively.
"I saw Wendy in the water, trying to pull something out of her leg, and I knew it was a croc," he said.
"I acted quickly, just jumped on top of it, and looked for the eyes. I found them, and poked its eyes, and that's when it released her, I think."
Apart from crocs being only one of numerous things that will try to kill you if you live in Australia, and therefore this being a lesson in why emigrating there is a silly idea, this is a great story! I bet Wendy Petherick isn’t complaining about a lack of freedom, socializing or too many chores to do.
So here’s my recipe for a good life: Get married and have more freedom, more socializing, more satisfying work, and protection from large reptiles!