There is this widespread perception that where single life is all fun and games, married life amounts to little more than endless ennui and monotonous misery. Reality could not be more different. Because single life, despite all its excitement, is not a patch on the quiet joys associated with the happily married club. Single men and women must not let themselves be fooled by the complaints happily married folks frequently voice about how hard and boring their lives are. That propaganda is carefully designed to put off single folks contemplating making the swich to a life of untold marital bliss, thereby limiting the number of new entries to the happily married club.
The first boon that marriage brings to a happily married man is to overnight purge him of all his romantic impulses. Since a romantic disposition is a serious medical condition, this is a welcome transformation. Now he can focus on and be true to his real job description of earning a living, making ends meet, and being a useful member of society. Lots of valuable time and energy are saved when he no longer needs to be charming all the time. The immediate effect of marriage on the happily married woman is no less liberating. While she still cares greatly about her looks, a remarkable development takes place. Starting from the wedding day itself, the mirror miraculously quits is original function of mirroring and starts consistently telling her how beautiful, young, and healthy she looks no matter how she really looks.
So drastic is this transformation that the very things that before marriage were enough to cause untold anxiety and sleepless nights on account of worries about one’s attractiveness and suitability as potential spouse become tell-tale signs of being well-settled after it. Take a rotund figure, for instance. Far from being something to worry about, it gives credence to one’s claim of belonging to the happily married club – the proverbial proof of the pudding. Fretting about their charm, their diet, their looks, their figures – worries that continue to plague their single counterparts all the time – thus become nothing more than faint memories of a bygone era for these lucky members of the happily married club. Only those who, in their single life, have experienced such insecurities on the cosmetic and romantic fronts can fully appreciate this newfound security associated with the happily married life.
The quiet joys of the happily married life translate directly into stats. Numerous studies over the last one hundred years and more have conclusively demonstrated that married people tend to live longer than their unmarried counterparts.
So much for emotions. Marriage works wonders on the mental side of things as well. It improves the functioning of the brain manifold by forcing both the husband and the wife to be innovative and imaginative, constantly coming up with novel excuses, justifications, and twists on events. According to a study, a happy marriage drastically improves cognitive function, thereby reducing risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact quote escapes me, I am certain Oscar Wilde has said something profound on the issue, as he has on virtually every subject under the sun.
Other studies have shown that being happily married reduces the susceptibility to depression on the part of both parties. To be depressed, one needs time; and time is one commodity that is in short supply, thanks to the innumerable labours of love associated with the happily married life.
Much is made of freedom in single life. What is not nearly equally stressed is the fact that freedom comes with its downsides as well. Take, for example, the overrated freedom to get out of bed on either side. This freedom, as is the case with most other freedoms, is clearly a curse because it forces one to make unnecessary decisions. It is such decisions on essentially trivial issues that cause one to age prematurely. A loving life partner renders many such decisions unnecessary, so that one can focus on the really important issues such as how to foil the latest machinations of the in-laws.
The quiet joys of the happily married life translate directly into stats. Numerous studies over the last one hundred years and more have conclusively demonstrated that married people tend to live longer than their unmarried counterparts. Even in the rare cases where they do not actually get to live longer, there are reports that their years seem much longer than those experienced by unmarried folks.
To all singles out there: If you had any idea about the quiet joys of the happily married club, you would fall over one another to join it. To those unfortunate folks who, despite being married, do not (yet) feel they belong to a happy, lucky club: The only difference between being ordinarily married and being happily married is one’s frame of mind. Like Descartes’s ‘cogito’, if you think you are happily married, then you are happily married. Believe me; it is all in the head. Try it. And welcome to the happily married club. Feel free to thank me later.