I was listening to the news today (nearly always a bad idea – too depressing). When it was stated that a study showed married men are happier than single men and of course they live longer etc… Now, I’m in the marrying business and I wonder if at times the happiness is a result of having to be less selfish – That is to say more compromising, flexible, forgiving, understanding and the myriad of other human feelings one doesn’t “necessarily” have to embrace with such enthusiasm quite as strongly as you do once you have undergone the blissfulness of nuptials. Is it this new-found inner peacefulness that accounts for the rise in the happiness quotient? Happiness being in inverse proportion to our self-centeredness or is it something else? So is Marriage good for the soul ?
Those that are or have been married know by experience, both positive and negative, that you can no longer be the sole focus of your thoughts and actions. Not to realise that and more importantly act on that, is a recipe for disaster. The self-absorbed and self-centred do not last long at the coal-face of matrimony. So to answer my own question – Yes. It would seem that a truly functional marriage is good for the soul as it necessitates an outward focus and a desire to be a better person not for it’s own sake but to be worthy of the love and devotion of partner and kids and set an example for them of selflessness. And that has to be good for the soul doesn’t it ?
I welcome your thoughts on the above.
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