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Married Men Live Longer
Old 11-15-2014, 06:17 AM   #1
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Married Men Live Longer

"Data from the "Longevity Project" book indicates that men who got and stayed married were likely to live beyond age 70, but less than one-third of divorced men made it to that age. Men who never married outlived those who divorced, but not those who stayed married."
Extending Life: 7 Ways to Live Past 100 | Longevity, Healthy Aging & Living Forever

And I just thought marriage made life feel longer

It's actually a bigger difference than I assumed. Now I have a new factor for my spreadsheet.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:57 AM   #2
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Hmmm. I'm attending the wedding of a buddy today. After the ceremony, I'll ask him if he feels younger.

Or, I could wait until after the honeymoon and ask his wife...
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:00 AM   #3
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One for your buddy:
A little boy, at a wedding looks at his mom and says, “Mommy, why does the girl wear white?” His mom replies, “The bride is in white because she’s happy and this is the happiest day of her life.” The boy thinks about this, and then says, “Well then, why is the boy wearing black?”
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:45 AM   #4
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It just seems longer <rimshot>
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Old 11-15-2014, 08:10 AM   #5
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There is a negative selection process in the shorter life spans of non-married men. Those with serious physical issues are less likely to ever get married. Married men (and women) who divorce may have demonstrated negative, personally destructive behaviors that led to the divorce. They are also not as likely to remarry successfully. Hence, shorter life spans may be the result of their situation and not whether they are married or not. Of course, a caring woman (or other man) can provide care which could have extended a life.

It's always dangerous to assume correlation equals causation. Frequently, there is more to the statistic than just the naked numbers.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:26 AM   #6
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:36 AM   #7
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There is a negative selection process in the shorter life spans of non-married men. Those with serious physical issues are less likely to ever get married. Married men (and women) who divorce may have demonstrated negative, personally destructive behaviors that led to the divorce. They are also not as likely to remarry successfully. Hence, shorter life spans may be the result of their situation and not whether they are married or not. Of course, a caring woman (or other man) can provide care which could have extended a life.

It's always dangerous to assume correlation equals causation. Frequently, there is more to the statistic than just the naked numbers.
But even if it is only correlation, it could still be an interesting measure.

-gauss
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:55 AM   #8
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I have no idea if being married will lead to a longer life, but I can say for sure,
in our case, DW's cooking is far more healthful than anything I could prepare on my own. Having a wife, children and grandchildren also inspires me to be in better physical condition.

At the risk of sounding hokey, in both threads about inexpensive pleasures (less than $40, $0) the first thoughts in my mind involve DW.
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:09 AM   #9
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....
At the risk of sounding hokey, in both threads about inexpensive pleasures (less than $40, $0) the first thoughts in my mind involve DW.
My opinion: This is not hokey at all. It sounds like this is the kind of marriage that actually may positively impact your longevity as well as your enjoyment of that extra time. (I remember reading some research papers a while back that pointed to this; but, I do not have the links at hand.)
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:12 AM   #10
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I have no idea if being married will lead to a longer life, but I can say for sure,
in our case, DW's cooking is far more healthful than anything I could prepare on my own. Having a wife, children and grandchildren also inspires me to be in better physical condition.

At the risk of sounding hokey, in both threads about inexpensive pleasures (less than $40, $0) the first thoughts in my mind involve DW.
I am so glad not to be only one whose spouse figured in these activities
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:15 AM   #11
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My understanding is that men aren't the most eager to go to doctors for such things and checkups.

But I guess when married, at the encouragement of the wife, the choice is either go for that checkup or climb a ladder and clean out the gutter.

A win-win for both, I guess
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:41 AM   #12
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SOME (certainly not all) married men depend on their wives to push them towards a healthy lifestyle. They would just eat chicken wings and guzzle beer while behaving like football watching couch potatos if their wives didn't serve them healthy meals and push them to go mow the lawn. So, if divorced they would just spiral downwards.

I think this is becoming less of an issue these days, though. More modern men actually want to live a healthy life and take care of themselves these days, in my opinion. If a divorced man can plan and cook healthy meals for himself, and gets enough activity in his day, and goes for regular medical checkups on his own (even with nobody to nag him about that), I think he has a better chance.
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:50 AM   #13
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SOME (certainly not all) married men depend on their wives to push them towards a healthy lifestyle. They would just eat chicken wings and guzzle beer while behaving like football watching couch potatos if their wives didn't serve them healthy meals and push them to go mow the lawn. So, if divorced they would just spiral downwards.

I think this is becoming less of an issue these days, though. More modern men actually want to live a healthy life and take care of themselves these days, in my opinion. If a divorced man can plan and cook healthy meals for himself, and gets enough activity in his day, and goes for regular medical checkups on his own (even with nobody to nag him about that), I think he has a better chance.
+1. It really does depend on the personality of the individual the person's attitude on well being.

Another factor though is just having another person around (for example, if one has a stroke, the other person at home can call 911) helps the chances of living longer.

It would be interesting if there is a study say, comparing married men vs men not married but living with someone to study just the influence of marriage alone.
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:55 AM   #14
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My Bride and I have a saying...
"Between the two of us, we make one person."

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

My co-pilot in the car...
"Do you want a salad, or eggplant?"
"You don't need another drink!"
"It's time to walk the mall."
"You're looking a little bit chubby"
"Not another cup of coffee?!!"
"Check your zipper."
"Finish what you're doing, I'll take out the trash."
"Don't get mad... It's not worth it."

...and like that. Best thing is that morning kiss and "Another great day!"
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:24 AM   #15
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I also think it is primarily due to married men who have wives that encourage them to get preventive health care and see a doctor and who cook healthier meals than one would get from a fast food establishment. Two of my brothers never married - one died from cancer where he ignored the signs until it progressed to Stage 4. Another is extremely overweight and has a poor diet. Neither were willing to pay for health insurance either so only go to the doctor when in pain. My dad (divorced) was the same way. But my married brother is healthy and gets a physical exam every year. And I'm sure that having a wife and children and grandchildren who somewhat rely on him for support plays a role in it too.
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:34 AM   #16
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Two of my brothers never married - one died from cancer where he ignored the signs until it progressed to Stage 4. Another is extremely overweight and has a poor diet. Neither were willing to pay for health insurance either so only go to the doctor when in pain. My dad (divorced) was the same way. But my married brother is healthy and gets a physical exam every year.
No reason to think they'd ave done anything differently if they had been married. In fact this kind of modus vivendi might have contributed to a bad, short marriage OR they may might have married an enabler thus solving nothing.

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But my married brother is healthy and gets a physical exam every year. And I'm sure that having a wife and children and grandchildren who somewhat rely on him for support plays a role in it too
You're "sure", eh? On what basis? The reality is you cannot be sure. No reason to think he'd do anything different if he was single.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:16 PM   #17
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I also think it is primarily due to married men who have wives that encourage them to get preventive health care and see a doctor and who cook healthier meals than one would get from a fast food establishment. Two of my brothers never married - one died from cancer where he ignored the signs until it progressed to Stage 4. Another is extremely overweight and has a poor diet. Neither were willing to pay for health insurance either so only go to the doctor when in pain. My dad (divorced) was the same way. But my married brother is healthy and gets a physical exam every year. And I'm sure that having a wife and children and grandchildren who somewhat rely on him for support plays a role in it too.
I wonder if before we decide what aspects of being married make men live linger, we shouldn't perhaps investigate whether there is any causality here, and if so in what direction does it operate? IOW, what Michael B said is true, and makes further guessing just that.

Men with less education and lower incomes are less likely to live long lives, and less likely to find and keep female mates. The correlation mentioned by OP may be part of the reason for this, or may not be.

Last night friend and I sat behind a most interesting couple in a theater, waiting for the movie to begin. It was obviously early in their dating life. The woman looked to be about 25, and medium attractive with tight jeans and a nice bottom. The guy was sloppily dressed, and about 50 and judging from overheard conversation one of the most boring men ever to reach adulthood. She was knocking herself out to be charming, attentive, the whole shtick. The answer to this puzzle? He was a doctor! So men, get some money and prestige and you will have both longer lifespan and plenty women, married or otherwise.

This forum loves to debate issues where it is in fact impossible to really know what is actually happening on the ground.

Ha
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:30 PM   #18
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"Data from the "Longevity Project" book indicates that men who got and stayed married were likely to live beyond age 70, but less than one-third of divorced men made it to that age. Men who never married outlived those who divorced, but not those who stayed married."
I'm OK with rolling the dice (Remaining single reference)
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:03 AM   #19
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Last night friend and I sat behind a most interesting couple in a theater, waiting for the movie to begin. It was obviously early in their dating life. The woman looked to be about 25, and medium attractive with tight jeans and a nice bottom. The guy was sloppily dressed, and about 50 and judging from overheard conversation one of the most boring men ever to reach adulthood. She was knocking herself out to be charming, attentive, the whole shtick. The answer to this puzzle? He was a doctor! So men, get some money and prestige and you will have both longer lifespan and plenty women, married or otherwise.
Or, you'll die early and be able to leave your estate to a nice bottomed gal.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:08 AM   #20
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Men with less education and lower incomes are less likely to live long lives, and less likely to find and keep female mates. The correlation mentioned by OP may be part of the reason for this, or may not be.
I'm not sure about the correlation vs causation of marriage and longer lives. But, it is true that more educated, higher compensated men people live longer; this is supported by data. The causation is cognitive ability. Read "The Bell Curve."
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