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5 Mind-Bending Benefits of Being Married

5 Mind-Bending Benefits of Being Married

My wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary this week. I suppose we are as shocked as anyone that not only did we make it, but we feel more in love than ever. At this rather momentous moment I began to think about the benefits of being married. Why marriage instead of simply living together? We hear people say that it’s just a piece of paper, they want to defy tradition or don’t want to fall into the marriage trap or they don’t want those ties that bind. People worry about losing money; they scramble to get a pre-nup together. So, then what’s the point?

Sure, I am a psychotherapist with a Ph.D. in psychology and I did manage to write a successful book on the subject of relationships, but at home I am just a guy like everyone else. My wife is an attorney and had little knowledge of psychology when I first met her, and I had never really managed to pull off a successful relationship. It was one of the reasons I wrote a book on relationships – I knew it was going to be challenging and I wanted to know how to make it work. But, we started out as true beginners. Now as we look back at it we are very happy we made the choice to get married.

Mind-Bending Benefit #1: There is a security in knowing that the level of commitment is far greater than it would be in a living situation. We are bound by a larger family that we have stood in front of and made a promise to be good to each other. Interestingly, all these strings actually helped bind our relationship together. But, in the end nothing keeps people together if they don’t know how to get along.

Mind-Bending Benefit #2: Marriage made us into better people. It created a mindset where it’s in both of our best interests to create harmony. After all we are in it together, we might as well do our best to make it fun. Being kind, helpful, listening hard and doing what we say we are going to do is what our marriage is made of. My wife and I decided that we wanted a marriage where there was no yelling, blaming, name calling, swearing, contempt, sarcasm or meanness. We have kept that promise.

Mind-Bending Benefit #3: What made the greatest difference for me was that marriage actually offered me a safe place to express and develop not only my true self but my loving feelings. It took quite a while, I must admit, because my past was a big deterrent to being open. Because my wife felt secure with me, she was able to lead the way to an emotional place where we could both stand or even lay together.

Mind-Bending Benefit #4: The most cherished aspect of my marriage is that I get feedback from someone who has my back. She offers me a mirror that I can look through and see myself in a way that I cannot. It’s not always pretty, but I am (like most of us) blind to myself and blind to my blindness. Those insights allow me to become better at everything I do.

Mind-Bending Benefit #5: I think marriage builds a new sense of family that you may never have experienced before. It allows you to write your own code, to make decisions together. Money, difficulty, worries and joys are mutually shared in a way that builds true intimacy. The most mind-bending aspect of marriage is not only can it last but flourish. This knowledge allows you to be there for each other without kicking the back door open. It’s a melding, even melting into one another by opening your hearts and through the commitment of marriage gently closing the exits. At that point the only real and true option is love.

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Dr. Bill Cloke

Dr. Bill Cloke has worked with individuals and couples for 30 years. He received a masterís degree in education from the University of Southern California and holds a PhD in psychology from California Graduate Institute. A frequent talk-radio and TV psychologist, he is also a contributor to PsychologyToday.com and other popular websites and has lectured at UCLA. Bill Cloke lives with his wife in Los Angeles. To learn more about Bill Cloke, and for more resources on creating healthy, happy relationships, visit happytogetherbook.com.

36 comments

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12:35PM PST on Feb 9, 2012

Lovely photo- we all know that being married is something that only happens between a man and a woman


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8:02AM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Thank you for this ... I am getting married on the 31st October this year after being with & living with my partner for 12 years & i can't wait !

9:55AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

Marrying my husband was the best decision I have ever made. He is my best friend, my confidante, my ally, my protector, my partner, my conscience, my rock, and together we are building our family and have never been happier.

8:53AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

On february 25th my husband and I will have been maried...45 years.....YES....we are dinasores........

It has not alaways been plain sailing especially with an husabnd who traveled a lot and worked very hard...

But now that he has retire...last year...we have gone to europe and plan to retire there ..in France and enjoy some french way of live for a while before moving again ....in our last home!

We have moved 18 times in our maried life so this was not alaways easy ...especialy with a child but...like in everything in life ...you have to work at it...and no give up..

there is no good or bad way to live together but one thing for sure...tolerance,trust and a sense of humor is a must.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL!

So to all the young ladies out there....dont give up so easily mariage is worth it...but dont expect the ..hollywood type!

4:50AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

thanks for sharing

1:25AM PST on Jan 24, 2012

I believe in marriage. Thanks for your article.

9:30PM PST on Jan 23, 2012

I'm one of those people that doesn't believe you need to be married and that it's simply a religious institution. I think if 2 people love each other they will stay together, and I find it's kind of weak to need a signed paper in order to keep to that commitment.

12:57PM PST on Jan 23, 2012

thanks.

4:21PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

THANK YOU

6:33AM PST on Jan 22, 2012

I believe what plays a determinent role in the percentage of divorces nowadays is our utter incapacity to fully agree with and commit to the principle of marriage. We were born in days when we were told that we could really have it all and that sacrificing/conceding/bending in any way and for anything is weak and profoundably wrong. The medias try to make us buy that there's only one real form of Happiness, 100% free and totally effortless. If you don't get it in your current relationship/engagement/marriage, then, it means you're "with the wrong one" and you better leave before too much precious time is wasted. No one believes in the Prince Charming anymore, yet we've never been looking for him more than we are today. Truth is : marriage is work. Just like anything worthy, it takes efforts, courage and determination. When you promise "for better, for worse", it is not for the poetry in the words themselves, but because it IS going to be "for the worse" at some point, somehow and for however long. If you are ready to commit to the better, you should be as ready to commit for the worse and stick by when things really take a tragic turn. But who, in 2012, still wants to face so much trouble when all it takes to get back on the "Happiness Seekers" market is a good lawyer and a signature ?

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