16 December 2004


My favorite quotation about marriage comes from that famous Greek philosopher from Athens ---Socrates--- who is well-known for his prowess for critical reasoning and free-wheeling discussion. He said of marriage:

"By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy.

If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."

Of course, many of us would rather end up being a happy husband than being a philosopher, right? I think we have enough philosophers already, but very few happy husbands in this world. Then again, I might be mistaken.

A new American study spearheaded by the National Center for Health Statistics which interviewed 127,545 adults in the US shows a remarkable finding:

The study found that married couples are less likely to suffer from a variety of ailments, including, back pain, headaches, and psychological stress.

Although married men are more likely to be overweight or even obese, married adults are less likely to smoke, drink heavily or be physically inactive.

Overall, married people are healthier than all other adults with the exception of husbands, who tend to be heavier than all other men. The study found that just over 70 percent of married men were overweight compared with 65 percent of all men.

[Health Talk Canada]

So, the study implies that if we have a happy marriage, we, as husbands, might end up:
  • happy,

  • a bit overweight,

  • with lesser chances of getting sick, and

  • will never be a philosopher like what Socrates said.
Overall, I think that's great....though I would still prefer and continue to advise patients and friends alike to work hard for a smaller tummy.

I guess the reason here lies with love and responsibility. If you live alone and is unattached, you only think about yourself. When you're married, you get to think about your wife and your kids and their future.

If you die early, chances are they would lead a miserable and difficult life. So, as the husband, you become more health conscious and plan for a future with them with you in it. As the study says, "married adults are less likely to smoke, drink heavily or be physically inactive."

This gets us now to the next question which the study never addressed:
How do you end up with a happy marriage?
Well, perhaps this quote from William Penn might help you:

"Never marry but for LOVE;
but see that thou lovest what is lovely."

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