Suicide and marriage often have a secret link. In a study of twenty-thousand respondents, behavioral economists learned that an intimate partnership is the #1 leading factor to happiness. Not our vocations. Not our children. Second to partnership is Spirituality, and how you see life all weaves together.
Browse Daniel Gilbert’s book titled Stumbling On Happiness, and you’ll get a delicious serving of his education and his sense of humor. He’ll let you know things like, “Among life’s cruellest truths is this one: Wonderful things are especially wonderful the first time they happen, but their wonderfulness wanes with repetition. . .Psychologists call this habituation, economists call it declining marginal utility, and the rest of us call it marriage.”
And, lest we forget, the real heart of it all is that, quote:
“Mattering makes us happy.”
And, when we are in a healthy intimate relationship, we matter. Very much.
While the title of this post uses the word Marriage, it’s misleading. In truth, an intimate relationship does not have to even mean a spouse. It could be a dear pet, which may be why Pet Therapy and clinical findings about mental health improvements when with pets is on the rise. We matter to our pets, very much.
This month Dr. Clay Routledge wrote a fundamental but provocative observation for The New York Times: Suicides Have Increased. Is This An Existential Crisis. In short, a healthy intimate partnership becomes even more of a priority than our hearts already try to tell us.