Marriage advocates tell us that married people are happier and healthier and wealthier. But they tend to forget that marriage is also the lead cause of divorce, and divorce make people less happy and less wealthy.
On the other hand, a growing number of marriage opponents tell men: Do not marry. Do not have children. Fool around, pick up women, use and dump them. Because in the Western world, divorce laws mean that women can and will walk out on you any time, leaving you without wife and kids and taking along most of your money. These tend to forget that many marriages are actually beneficial.
Statistically, which advice is most sound? Is it more beneficial for men to stay single, or to take the marriage gamble, which may leave you better off if you stay married, and worse if you divorce? By lack of better data, we will assume that the popular statistical myth is true: That half of American marriages end in divorce.*
Does getting married (having no idea if your marriage will work out or not) increase your chance of wealth?
Married men earn approximately 11 percent more per hour than men who have never been married, even after controlling for work experience, education, age and other factors. Economists also find that divorced or separated men make about 9 percent more than never-married men.
The person who marries is, on average (considering a 50% chance of divorce), likely to make 10% per hour more, compared to the one who never marry.
For people on the verge of retirement
* Married couples had accumulated $410,000
* Never married accumulated $167,000
* Divorced acccumulated $154,000
Since there are 2 people in a marriage, the $410,000 has to be divided by two for this calculation.
Married:Divorced:Never-Married have accumulated wealth 205:154:167 to each other.
The person who marries is, on average (considering a 50% chance of divorce), likely to retire with about $179 000** compared to the $167,000 of the one who never marry.
Another study of about 9,000 people found that divorce reduces a person’s wealth by about three-quarters (77 percent) compared to that of a single person, while being married almost doubles comparative wealth (93 percent.)
By that metric, the average divorcee has $23 for every $100 that the single, and $193 that the average married person has. (The same study also claims the average divorced man has about 2,5 times as much money as the average divorced woman, so he actually has $38,33 for every $100 that the single person has.)
The person who marries is, on average (considering a 50% chance of divorce), likely to have about $115 dollar for every $100 of the one who never marry.
All in all, the person who marries is, on average, likely to end up with more than the one who never marry.
Does getting married (having no idea if your marriage will work out or not) increase or decrease the chance of happiness?
* 40 percent of the married said they are very happy with their life in general, compared to just 22 % of those who were single or who were cohabitating. The separated (15 percent very happy) and the divorced (18 percent very happy) were the least happy.
Married: Divorced: Never-Married have “very happy levels at rates 40:18:22 to each other. Married: Divorced: Never-Married have unhappiness levels at rates 7:18:13 to each other.
The average person who marry increase his chance of being very happy from 23% to 29%; and the average marrying person marginally decreases his/ her unhappiness chance from 13% to 12,5%.
Does getting married (having no idea if your marriage will work out or not) increase the risk that you will be so unhappy as to commit suicide?
Married men are only half as likely as bachelors and one-third as likely as divorced guys to take their own lives. Married: Divorced: Never-Married have divorce chances 1:3:2 to each other.
It averages out- the man with no idea if his marriage will end in divorce or not has roundabout the same chance of suicide as the one who stay single.
Does getting married (having no idea if your marriage will work out or not) increase your life expectancy?
The man who marries, wether he divorce or not, still has a higher life expectancy.
For the average man, marriage is a worthy gamble, although not remarkably superior. But don’t be average. You can greatly increase your odds, and make your gamble a lot safer, by things like choosing your partner well, your ages at the time of marriage, your religious commitment, your education level and choosing a woman who’se parents stayed married, and by knowing the possible legal pitfalls and taking steps to avoid them. And if a man does not merit a women who fulfills several of the requirements (under “greatly increase your odds” and “choosing your partner well”), and he himself fulfills few of them? In that case, the doomsayers may be right, and it may be better for him to stay single.
*This 50% is based on the amount of weddings in a year, and divorces that same year, and does not take into account the amount of already married people. The chances that a particular marriage will end in divorce is actually impossible to calculate.
**A 50% chance of being in the $205,000 group, and a 50% chance of being in the $154,000 group, average out on that. All further calculations in this piece also average out between the married and divorced.