Whether we're reading about celebrities splitting up or why spouses cheat, it can sometimes feel like there's nothing but negative news on relationships and marriage. Trust us, there are promising statistics out there, too! Several recent studies have shown hopeful information for couples—how their bond can not only last, but how being in a committed relationship can also improve their overall health. Read on to see how researchers are proving that there are benefits to spending your days with the one you love.
Divorce rates are shrinking nationwide
Cheers to more couples staying together! One study from Bowling Green University shows that the United States divorce rate reached a 40-year low in 2015, dropping 25 percent from 1980. In fact, the study found that 30 states, including New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Hawaii, had a lower divorce rate in 2015 than in 2014. With stats that back up the idea that more people are choosing commitment over separation, we have a feeling couples will be much more confident walking down the aisle.
Marriage can help defeat cancer
Your spouse may be your biggest cheerleader, but he or she could also be the reason for your survival. The University of California San Diego published a study last year after gathering data from 800,000 cancer patients—their research found that married patients had higher chances of survival than nonmarried people, CNBC reports. Researchers from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California report that this could be because of higher socioeconomic status or access to private insurance. Lead researcher Scarlet Lin Gomez, Ph.D., M.P.H., also adds that the study "provides evidence for social support as a key driver."
Better survival rates after stroke
"Stroke is among the leading causes of disability and death in the United States," reports the Journal of the American Heart Association; however, a study by Matthew E. Dupre and Renato D. Lopes found that adults who are married have higher chance of survival after the event of a stroke. The two researchers examined "whether multiple socioeconomic, psychosocial, behavioral and/or psychological risk factors accounted for the associations and assessed differences by sex and race/ethnicity." Interestingly, they discovered that married adults were significantly more likely to survive a stroke than adults with "marital instability."
Decreased risk of alcohol addiction
Spouses can help keep each other in check in many ways, including curbing their alcohol consumption. The presence of a spouse may prevent alcohol problems, according to a study published in 2016. After studying 3 million Swedish residents between the ages of 20 and 70, researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine have found that "marriage is linked with significantly reduced risk for alcohol use disorder compared to single people," especially for those with family history, CBS News reports. Much of the reason addiction rates are lower with married couples is intervention, according to the article, which is "the impact of a partner modeling behavior for their high-risk spouse and offering feedback about drinking."