Saturday, 23 April 2016

Do Wives Become Less Stressed After Losing Their Husbands?

The mainstream media seems to have taken a break from pressuring everyone to marry and reproduce, as a new study has been released suggesting that female widows are less likely to be stressed or frail than married women. These findings are in contrast to previous research suggesting protective effects of marriage, which are often later debunked by Bella DePaulo of Living Single. She has also written extensively on the healthcare discrimination often encountered by single people, which would explain the pro-marriage studies barring methodological flaws or outright prejudice from the authors.

Source: Usbkabel
In this new study, the results showed that while the health of male widows deteriorated, elderly widows were about 23% less likely to be classed as "frail" than married women of a similar age. There was a lower incidence of unintentional weight loss and low physical activity, and a lower incidence of exhaustion. It is most likely due to the fact that while men often gain a caregiver by marriage, women are left in a restrictive role due to the self-sacrifice expected of them. This is also the life I refuse to enter, regardless of how many people want to call me "selfish"; no, my life belongs to me regardless of how much I love someone (I can't love someone who takes my freedom, and I loathe gender roles).  These factors may also be behind research showing lower rates of depression among single women. Single women have also shown lower rates of anxiety, depression, and isolation, and higher rates of job satisfaction than single men. I would say that this is because men are trained from a young age to suppress all emotions and "not need anyone", which ironically makes them less independent because of fewer close relationships. The lesson is: gender roles harm everyone. I would also add the increased likelihood of performing "man's jobs", i.e. physical work, to the health benefits of being a single woman. It was also mentioned that single people are apparently less healthy due to higher alcohol and junk food consumption; from my experience that is completely untrue, at least among women. We can make good decisions for ourselves without being "monitored", thank you very much.

The main flaw in the study as mentioned by the Telegraph article is the higher educational level and economic status seen in the single women, which would improve health regardless of marriage due to greater knowledge and resources. As for myself, I would prefer a living-apart-together marriage, or at least having separate bedrooms, finances and friends. I do not tolerate power hierarchies in my space, which is likely to make an unwelcome appearance if one of us has a stronger personality and we have to share everything. And the best living arrangement for antiaging and longevity? Whatever is best for you as an individual, but without gender roles as self-care and physical work are required by everyone.

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