May 15 in the world celebrate the International Family Day – International Day of Families. We offer look at the family in terms of health: is family life good or is it better to be a bachelor?
Why do I need a family?
Even to this simple question, people can absolutely sincerely give completely different answers. Some will wonder, “Why?” To live happily with your loved one and raise your beloved children! ”Others will simply answer that this is customary, and still others will shrug their shoulders and report that they have not found a reasonable answer for themselves and therefore prefer to maintain independence and freedom.
Statistics of recent decades show that the institution of a family in developed countries is beginning to falter and collapse. People are getting married later, choosing a life partner more and more captiously, are increasingly showing a desire for open forms of relationship: for a guest marriage, for example. More and more marriages are falling apart, more and more people prefer their families to have a career and lack of commitment.
Not surprisingly, scientists began to study the role of the family in the life of modern man. And in particular – the influence of the family on the state of health and life expectancy. Suddenly, is it really time to send the family institute to the kunstkammer as a hopelessly outdated phenomenon?
Health, family and statistics
The data below are taken from various sources and are the results of statistical studies conducted in different countries.
- From 1980 to 2016, in the United States, the number of people aged 45–50 years living without a family doubled: 20% in 1980 versus 43% in 2016.
- In Russia, almost half of marriages break up, with 50% of them in the first year of marriage.
- Married men live an average of 7 years more than staunch bachelors, widowers and divorced. Although married men are much more prone to obesity. According to statistics, a married man with overweight lives on average 3 years longer than a sporty slim bachelor.
- People living in a successful marriage are 15% less likely to leave this world prematurely.
But there are other data, not so positive.
- It is known that women live on average longer than men. But married – only for 2-3 years, while single, divorced and widows – 13 years longer. These indicators can cause discrepancies, since men marry more often than women younger than themselves, and because of the difference in the life expectancy of widows, more than widowers. This can not affect the performance and does not clearly indicate the benefit of a single life. Nevertheless, family life is more beneficial for men than for women.
- If marital relationships are not the best, the spouses have double the risk of developing type II diabetes, and the likelihood of heart and vessel problems is greatly increased.
So what conclusion should be drawn from this data?
Happy marriage is a source of health
In fact, health is influenced not so much by the presence or absence of a family, as by the quality of relationships in it. The body weakens not loneliness, but stress. If family relationships are a source of constant stress, then there will be no benefit from them.
Perhaps that is why many women free from family today live longer and feel better, because they perceive all problems in relationships much more emotionally than men, are more susceptible to stress and depression. Although most men refuse to believe that a woman can be happy outside the family. Patriarchal stereotypes in society are strong.
Loneliness hurts health only when it is perceived as a tragedy, as a failure, as proof of its own inconsistency. It is this stereotype that still exists in the public consciousness, especially for women. No husband? So, a loser. There are no children yet? Quite a problem, the main life purpose is not fulfilled.
On this fertile soil, terry complex complexes bloom, depression develops against the background of constant stress, and other diseases appear behind it.
But there is even more interesting data: the higher the IQ level, the more developed the person’s intelligence, the less he suffers from loneliness. Moreover: loneliness is good for such people, but from an excessive amount of social connections and intensive communication their well-being worsens.
This observation is indirectly confirmed by other data. For example: the higher the level of education in people, the less they tend to get married, the less children they have. In the most developed countries, families are the least numerous, and vice versa: the largest families are found in the poorest countries with a low standard of living and education.
You can draw the following conclusion: if you live comfortably alone, you should not strive to marry at any cost. But if loneliness is oppressive and frightening, then it is better to try to find “your” person and create a harmonious family with him.
Diseases of bachelors: from prostatitis to Alzheimer’s disease
Man is by nature a social being, and most of us need social connections, communication, love, and friendships. The lack of all this can significantly worsen the state of health.
- Married men lead a more measured and orderly lifestyle than bachelors. They feed better and more regularly, which increases the likelihood of overweight, but reduces the risk of gastritis, peptic ulcer and other diseases of the digestive system.
- Married men drink and smoke less, rest more. And bachelors are much more susceptible to myocardial infarction, stroke, they often have problems with pressure.
- At bachelors 40% more likely to develop prostatitis and there are problems with potency. It is clear – after all, married sex life more regularly. Although, perhaps, not so diverse. However, what kind of diversity can there be for problems with potency?
- Married men are more responsible for their health: they often visit doctors, undergo medical examinations. Bachelors do not like to do this, and there is nobody to force and convince them.
- Happy fathers of the family are twice as likely to get sore throat as compared with single peers.
If a bachelor is not very sociable and leads a solitary life, does not support social ties, he has a 32% higher risk of developing a stroke. But that’s not all: lonely older people are more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. At the same time, communication on the Internet not only does not replace live communication, but even worsens the situation, increasing the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
In women, the situation is somewhat different. For example, married women consume more alcohol than free. They take less care of themselves and spend less on their own pleasures and rest. The stress level of married women is on average higher, they more often seek the help of a psychotherapist: there are 3-4 unmarried women in 17 married patients.
Surveys conducted in France showed that unmarried women make love twice as long and get more satisfaction from it. In the same study, it was revealed that housewives, whose whole life is focused on the family, are the most stressed. They are more likely to suffer from sleep disorders, from phobias, from the blues and loss of strength. At the same time, they can sincerely consider their marriage successful and prosperous.
Love saves the world?
Yes exactly. Not a family as such, not a marriage with an indispensable seal in the passport, not mandatory joint housekeeping and living under one roof. Man needs love and reciprocity, harmony in relationships and confidence in the future.
The family will become a source of health in the case when it is safe, when it gives joy to each of its members.
Relationships that many still do not recognize as family relationships, for example, guest marriages, may be of the same value. The main thing is that the partners are both happy and satisfied with this state of affairs.