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10 great reasons to tie the knot

POSTED: May 30, 2014 9:00 a.m.
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Marrying for love may be a bit risky, but it is so honest that God can't help but smile on it. -Josh Billings

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There are a lot of marriage naysayers out there always willing to quote the divorce rate and offer an example of an unhappy marriage they've witnessed. Many adults are either delaying or completely avoiding marriage because they're concerned about ending up unhappy. Is marriage really outdated, unworkable and a trap? No! There are some great reasons to consider tying the knot. Check out these ten.
Becoming a more empathetic, patient person. We all come with our own idiosyncracies, and your future spouse will surely do things that drive you nuts. However, as you work at creating a successful marriage, you'll find that your capacity to empathize and endure patiently will grow. If you let it, marriage will make you a better person.
You'll have someone to grow with. How many times have you heard the excuse "we grew apart" to justify splitting up? In a healthy marriage, the couple learns to grow together. As each partner develops new interests and gains a larger world perspective, their spouse participates in and embraces the growth. It's a double-dose of aging well together.
Always have someone to have fun with. Marriage isn't all doom and gloom and hard work. Having a spouse means never having to go on vacation alone, always having someone to take to the movies and getting a built-in partner to enjoy the good times with. Chances are you and your partner enjoy doing many of the same things already, so you might as well capitalize on enjoying the ride as a duo.
Never having to date again. From first dates to breaking up, dating stinks all around. Settling down means that you can focus your romantic energy on someone you truly love instead of constantly skipping from mediocre date to mediocre date.
Added stability. Married individuals live longer, make more money, and enjoy more overall stability in life. While tax breaks and better insurance aren't reasons, in and of themselves, to walk down the aisle, they certainly do make marriage all the more appealing.
Marriages lead to stronger families. These days, more and more people are opting to start families out-of-wedlock, but studies have shown again and again that children born to married parents fare better than those raised by single parents, both financially and socially. If you want to give your future children the best chance to succeed, marriage is a great option.
More and better sex. Married couples report having more and more fulfilling sex than single people. Despite what the media would have us believe, sex within a monogamous marriage relationship is better for both parties than for single individuals.
Someone to share the burden. Whether it's weathering the storms of life, making the big decisions or finding way to afford modern-day living, two heads are better than one. People handle adversity better when they have a go-to person to air worries and fears, a role easily filled by a spouse.
Marriage leads to a happier life. In many studies, psychologists have conclusively shown that married people rate themselves as happier than single people. It's no wonder; having a spouse means always having a friend.
You're in love. The best reason, really the only good reason, to get married is for true love. Marriage is the ultimate commitment to the person who stole your heart and it's a show of solidarity and commitment to your partner. Who doesn't want to live a great love story complete with happily ever after?
If you picture marriage as a series of never-ending arguments and bickering, don't let the culturally driven negative image of marriage fool you. There's a real sense of satisfaction that comes from growing individually and as a couple. Marriage provides the ideal medium for growth. Yes, all marriages have their ups and downs, but that cute eighty-year-old couple in the park, still holding hands after all those years, got that way by sticking it out. You'll never make it to perfect, little-old couple without starting now. Once you have decided to take the plunge, here are some awesome tips to strengthen a marriage.
Heather Hale is a fourth-generation Montanan, mom to two crazy boys, and wife to one amazing husband. You can learn more about her eco-conscious lifestyle at moderatelycrunchy.com.

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