10 Reasons Married People Live Longer

Studies have shown that married couples — married men in particular — tend to live longer than their unmarried counterparts. It seems that being married (and yes, the studies have shown that this is even more true for married couples rather than cohabiting couples) improves both your physical and mental health, making you fitter, happier, and healthier than single people. There are many theories — ranging from reliable emotional support to lower alcohol consumption — that explain why being married seems to increase your life expectancy.

10 Reasons Married People Live Longer (Slideshow)

Researchers have found that married couples tend to both smoke and drink less than unmarried people. This seems to be a result of having a spouse who is naturally always looking out for their other half's physical health and well-being, keeping checks on and discouraging any or all of their unhealthy habits. Also, although this may be a generalization, the lower drinking rates in married couples may be a result of their being more content to spend a free evening cooking and relaxing in their own home rather than going out to drink and eat every Saturday evening.

Married couples (we're obviously only referring to happily married couples, since unhappy marriages are only going to be detrimental to both physical and mental health) also tend to be happier, more confident, and less stressed than single people. As a nuclear couple, married couples often believe that together they can achieve anything, as they can rally together so it really is them against the world. Spouses typically support, encourage, entertain, and praise each other, while also acting as the other's emotional sounding board whenever a rant, de-stress, or cry is necessary, which it often is to sustain positive mental health: It seems that for most people, being married does make you stronger.

In turn, this strong mental and emotional health affects your physical health, which circles back round to explain why studies have shown that happily married couples really do live longer than everybody else.