Much of popular culture would have us believe that marriage is not related to a happy life. Sure, it may bring satisfaction for a time, but can quickly become an impediment to experiencing all that life has to offer. After all, checking off the ever-popular “bucket lists” are a little harder to do with a spouse and young children in tow.

Yet, studies tell us a different story.

In a new, parish-based, interactive program for couples entitled The Choice Wine: 7 Steps to a Superabundant Marriage, experts share the results of a 40-year study (General Social Study, 1972-2012). Participants were asked whether they were “not too happy”; “pretty happy” or “very happy” with life.

Out of the married survey respondents, 40.3% answered that they were “very happy with life.” This compares to 22.8% of people who never were married and 19.3% of people who have divorced. Those numbers speak for themselves about the chances that marriage will bring more happiness into your life.

In the same study, questions were posed about the health of participants. You might think that married participants wouldn’t be as healthy, right? From experience, I can tell you it’s harder to get to the kids when babies and toddlers need your attention! But the survey results show that out of married participants, 39% report being in “excellent health”. Those who have never married follow at 34% and divorced men and women at 31%.

This 9-week program—which is free to parishes—explores further why marriage brings us not only happiness and health, but also may make us wealthier.

Happier, healthier and wealthier? Marriage doesn’t exactly sound like the ball and chain that it is too often portrayed as.

As people as faith, maybe this shouldn’t surprise us that much. After all, God has been telling us about His plan for marriage since the very beginning. In the Book of Genesis He created woman and “brought her to the man”, who said, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” And this is why, the author of Genesis recounts, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body” (Genesis 2:22-24).

For more about The Choice Wine, visit www.thechoicewine.org

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