In what might be the most depressing study about marriage on record, Michigan State University scientists found that married people aren't any happier than they were when they were single—but tying the knot may protect them against slowly growing unhappier. The long-ranging study relied on thousands of participants to find that single people's happiness gradually declines over the years, while married people's satisfaction just levels off.
Happiness averages like these tend to erase the more complicated demographic details—satisfaction surely fluctuates based on the age and income at which people marry, along with why they get married, how many times they do it, whether they stay that way, and whether their marriages are actually functional. But let's say this data really does show that matrimony generally staves off unhappiness later in life. Is it any wonder, given how our society treats aging singles?
“If we were 28, I’d ask you to marry me right now,” an ex-boyfriend told me once, my face in his hands outside the group house where we shared a mattress on the floor. The face-in-hands move: Tired cliché. Marriage: A bureaucratic nightmare. Twenty-eight: The age the average American man gets married for the first time.
We were a couple of broke, cynical feminists whose relationship bore no resemblance to a Nicholas Sparks joint. But we were both emotionally drained from a fight, about what I don’t remember. Standing there on the stoop, it felt oddly comforting to anchor our unconventional relationship into some grander romantic context, even if just for a moment.
It's safe to say that Newt Gingrich is one of the worst husbands of all time. He's a notorious philanderer. In his three marriages, he's established a habit of leaving a sick wife for a younger mistress. He abandoned first wife Jackie while she was hospitalized to get with his second wife, Marianne. He left Marianne after she was newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis to get with his current wife, Callista. Now, Marianne's wrath has come back to haunt him in an ABC interview revealing that after confessing to his affair, Gingrich asked Marianne for an "open marriage."