Marital Happiness Myth — 4 Comments

  1. I like your example, Kai, which shows how correlational data does not imply causation… Nobody would be in debt if the Jaguar-driving/high-income correlation implied that Jaguar (or other expensive stuff) ownership raises our incomes…

    I hope you’re right about the future of marriage! I think that we are in need of new modes of relating that go beyond the nuclear family idea and rebuild some form of community (a form that’s less oppressive than what we used to have). Valuing all forms of relationships – whether they include sex or not – seems to be an important first step. It’s good to know that Sweden is already heading in that direction…

  2. Good, thoughtful analysis. I have also noticed an amazing paucity of well-designed studies on the marriage/happiness correlation. If would hate to rely upon the people at “The Marriage Project” at Rutgers to give me some financial advice…they’d no doubt point out the strong correlation between driving a Jaguar and a high income, and would have me up to me ears in debt driving a pricey car, while waiting for that magical bump in income to appear…

    I’m hopeful that in the next few decades we’ll see marriage go the way of segregation, an institution that outlived its welcome. And men, women, and children will be better off for it. They already are in Sweden, where marriage is becoming extinct and people are healthier and happier than in the U.S.

  3. Rachel,
    I think you are right on that the happiness preceeds the marriage. An unhappy person that gets married will make an unhappy marriage, rather than finding happiness.


  4. Pingback:Rachel’s Musings » Happiness Work

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