Is marriage good for your health? In general, research suggests yes. Married people live longer, have better access to health care, enjoy a more satisfying sex life, experience less stress, live a healthier lifestyle, and have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and depressioncompared to their single counterparts.
The list of health perks conferred by marriage is so long, in fact, that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made it a centerpiece of its two-year-old, $5 million national media campaign to promote wedded bliss.
But there’s a catch—men and women don’t get the same or equal benefits from a legally sanctioned pairing. A man’s sex life is likely to improve more than a woman’s after getting married, for instance, while a woman’s risk for depression tends to decrease more than her partner’s when she’s in a long-term relationship.