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June 16, 2015

The Marriage Trap

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Today, after my regular Tuesday appearance on Global Television’s The Morning Show, I received an angry message on my public Facebook page:

“I just watched you on the Morning Show promoting your propaganda. My younger brother got married and is now dead while I have never been married and am still quite alive. Men are wise to the marriage trap and I will continue to warn them of the evils of marriage. You should be ashamed of yourself trying to trap other men, you already have done so to one. Alimony, restricted visitation rights and betrayal await any man who gets married. You are promoting the Luciferian agenda and this is pure evil. Real men never get married.”

This viewer is responding to my statements regarding new research findings suggesting that married men might reap greater health benefits than married women when compared to their single counterparts. The video is posted below (it’s the third segment) and I’ve added a few notes that I wish I had included in the short interview:

  • Positive health markers and marriage are correlated, but correlation is not the same as causation.
  • Regardless of what the research may indicate, marriage is one of many relationship options and you’re the only expert that matters. If you want to get married, go for it! If you want to stay single, rock on!
  • I was not involved in the referenced study. My job is to attempt to put the research into context and add some commentary. I believe each of the studies cited refers to men and women who are married to someone of the opposite sex and realize that this is one of the limitations.
  • I would have liked to have more time to flesh out my perspective on friendships and gender. In the video, I suggest that the health benefits associated with marriage may be greater for men, as women tend to maintain stronger social networks. I want to reiterate that I don’t believe that this difference is rooted in biology, but in culture. Studies suggest that maintaining social bonds is positively correlated with effective stress management, good health and longevity. Research also suggests that female-female friendships involve more intimate and emotional sharing and more consistent contact. I’m not suggested that men don’t maintain social networks, but simply that some research suggests that women’s friendships may be associated with additional health benefits.
  • Each time I watch these short interviews, I’m frustrated with the fact that I leave out important details due to time constraints. I also misspoke at about 18:23 (and didn’t complete my sentence): “As more men in their twenties are staying single for longer, they’re not as reliant…particularly on social networks.” I meant to say that they’re not as reliant on female partners to maintain social networks. Obviously, not all married men are reliant on their partners in this respect — this is simply one theory related to the discrepancy in health indicators between married and single men.

Below the video, you’ll see my response to the angry Facebook poster.

I posted the following response to the comment above on Facebook:

“I’m not really sure how to respond, but I am sorry to hear of your brother’s passing. 

If you’re suggesting that marriage doesn’t inevitably lead to improved health, I agree. Evidence, however, suggests some correlation. 

As for my “trapping” of a man into marriage, that’s laughable. I know my partner would agree. And who’s to say I wouldn’t have to pay him alimony in the hypothetical and highly improbable case of a divorce? 

I’m neither “ashamed” of myself nor in agreement with your definition of my “propaganda”. My message is consistent: do what works for you. In your case, remaining single sounds like a good choice.”