DR. WALLACE: I’d like you to give me some valid reasons why those of you in the media always say it’s better to be married than to remain single. All of my girlfriends can’t wait to be brides, but I think I may just enjoy the freedom to do as I please. I already know at my present age that I don’t want the responsibility of being a parent — now or ever!
All of the media I read, watch and consume seems to indicate that marriage is such a wonderful institution for everyone; especially women. I personally feel that is a lot of hot air, because I know many unhappily married women who are personal friends of mine and I would not trade places with them for even a day! Do you agree with my logical point of view? — Happily single girl, via email
HAPPILY SINGLE GIRL: Some people know early on that marriage and family will eventually be their lifestyle ,while others like you don’t want the responsibility of family life and prefer the freedom of doing “their thing” as they please without ever having to worry about sharing, decision-making or compromising to keep another person happy.
I’m positive there are many benefits of being single, but I’ve been married for so long (and very happily!) that I cannot relate to the single lifestyle myself. I do think it’s great for every individual to make their own choices for their own reasons, and I certainly respect yours. But since you want valid reasons to at least consider to be married someday, here they are:
Married people tend to be better off financially because they pool their resources. They share food, a home and a lifestyle. Married people have a sense of obligation to each other; they’re less likely to abuse their alcohol intake and also tend to limit other health risks. Note: I said “less likely,” not “they don’t” because of course some indeed do. It’s just statistically true that the levels are indeed lower for married individuals.
Couples monitor each other’s health habits and encourage each other to seek medical attention when necessary. Spouses offer affection, a sympathetic ear and moral support during tough situations. They often also provide solace during stressful times.
Married couples receive a lower income tax rate from the government.
Married adults are more likely to be insured — particularly by private health coverage — than those who are “widowed, divorced, separated, living with a partner or never married,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Consequently, their children are also more likely to be covered under their parents’ plans.
And finally — because the marital rewards are so numerous and my space is still limited — I must end with saying that living with someone you love and being loved is the ultimate gift of life.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.