Many are the comedians who’ve earned a living making fun of marriage:

Henny Youngman famously told audiences, “Take my wife, please.”

Roseanne Barr countered with, “You may marry the man of your dreams, but 14 years later, you’re married to a couch that burps.”

All kidding aside, there’s another, more positive, aspect to marriage. Whether you know it or not, your spouse might be saving your life — on a daily basis.

According to an article published by Harvard Medical School’s Health Publication, studies show that, when compared to singles, married adults tend to live longer, have fewer strokes and heart attacks, are less depressed, survive major surgery more often, are diagnosed earlier with cancer and are more likely to survive.

The London Telegraph cities studies that indicate being married can add up to 10 years to a person’s life.

Makes sense to me. I can think of numerous ways Jack and I may have saved each other’s lives. I once signed up for a sky diving excursion, which made him so nervous, he cut a deal with me. He would submit to a coronary evaluation if I gave up the sky dive.  He’s been on cholesterol medication ever since, and I don’t jump out of airplanes and die. Win-win.

I’ve had numerous health issues over the years, all caught in the earliest stages because Jack’s employer provided better insurance than I could afford on my own.

Also, I may have influenced his healthier eating habits, but he got me to walk to places where I previously drove. I stop him from driving too fast. He makes me wait for cars to pass before crossing the street.

And let us not under estimate the gentle art of spousal nagging.  My friend John stopped drinking because of his wife’s insistence. Grace found out she was anemic because her husband urged her to see a doctor. And Michelle enforced her husband’s low cholesterol diet after his heart attack.

Then there’s Alicia who insists on accompanying her husband to doctor appointments because he never asks enough questions or remembers the answers he does get.

But the Nobel Prize of life-saving goes to my friend Sharon.

A few years ago, she and her husband, Stephen, met an associate at an out of town restaurant.  When the hostess tried to put them at a table by the window, she, alone, insisted on a quieter table further back where they could talk. A half hour later, a car careened through the front of the restaurant, smashing the window, and landing in the exact spot where they would have been seated.

Unlike marrieds, single people get to sit where they want, eat what they want and live life entirely as they please.  All of which may be hazardous to their health.

Has marriage saved your life?  I’d love to hear more stories. Please comment here.

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