I completely missed a fundamental piece of ground-breaking research into colorectal cancer in June. I need to get married I already drink foul potions and avoid a long list of 'bad' foods. I exercise, meditate, listen to classical music and watch comedies. I keep a journal and am part of a support group. I guess there is only thing left that could save me: marriage. A study of over 127 000 people with colorectal cancer in the US found that married people have a 14% lower risk of dying from their cancer than 'single' people. The researchers say that spouses provide support, encourage their partners to be compliant during treatment and give the person love. Do I really need a marriage certificate to live? The study didn't actually compare married people with single people, it compared married people to people that have never been married (this includes people in relationships but not married). I've never been married, but I am in a loving and supportive relationship. I live with my partner, cook for her and spend lazy weekends cuddled up. She keeps me away from McDonalds and makes me fresh vegetable juices loaded with enzymes and antioxidants. But maybe something about the marriage certificate changes people? Maybe it makes people better nurturers? Perhaps 'marriage-hormones' result in a stronger immune system. Is that why the study only compared married to non-married? It seems the marriage certificate may do something. Many studies have found that married people are happier, committed to the longer-term and have higher levels of well-being compared to single people and those cohabiting. While cohabiting isn't as good as marriage (at increasing your well-being) you can catch up to married people if you marry soon after cohabiting. It also seems the marriage certificate may do nothing. Some researchers say once you account for people's economic status, backgrounds and culture being married makes you no happier than cohabiting. Also, modern studies focus on patterns within the relationship and not the legal status of that relationship. How you talk, interact and resolve conflict appears to be more important that putting on a puffy dress and having doves released around you. I think a new study is needed before I buy a ring If we add 'De-facto' and 'Do not share place of residence with partner' or some other awkward phrase to the stream of hospital questionnaires we complete as patients now, the data should be ready in 10 years. But cancer survivorship is usually measured over five years. So to get the best of both worlds while waiting for the data I am going to focus on having a positive and healthy relationship AND start pretending I am married. This way my immune system will benefit from being in a healthy relationship and it will think it is bound to another person by law (just in case that piece of paper does actually matter). And in cancer circles that's what we call a win-win therapy. ----- The study: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621114157.htm My online blog: www.benbbrave.blogspot.com
14 Comments
Super Contributor
You are doing so many of the right things so I can't imagine much difference if you married. Surely being happiy de-factoed is better than being unhappily married so studies must not include the unhappily marrieds. I must point out that I have been happily married for 20 years to my 2nd husband. Once again,an interesting and entertaining read.
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Super Contributor
You are doing so many of the right things so I can't imagine much difference if you married. Surely being happiy de-factoed is better than being unhappily married so studies must not include the unhappily marrieds. I must point out that I have been happily married for 20 years to my 2nd husband. Once again,an interesting and entertaining read.
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Occasional Contributor
Hey Silly, you're right, a lot of the earlier work into the effect of marriage on well-being didn't properly consider unmarried cohabiting couples or try to tease out the unhappy married ones. I was chatting with a psychology friend about it and she said that these days most studies group married and cohabiting couples as one and the same and instead look for how the relationship 'works'. And yours is still working after 20 years!
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Contributor
Hi, do you get in trouble for keeping the toilet seat up and does your partner get in trouble for spending too much.....well then your married. LOL. Married and happy. Enjoy the read, keep them coming. Jules
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Frequent Contributor
Don't rush into anything, Ben. Can you please post a photo of you in a puffy dress and then we can make an informed group decision about this. On a lighter note, the reports of new study findings tend to highlight the important the difference between correlation and causality. A 'risk factor' is not a 'cause'. Risk factors seem to correlate with certain outcomes, but they do not cause outcomes. This is obvious because, apart from a few notable exceptions, we do not know what the cause of cancer is. I am going to give up dry ginger because if I have a brandy and dry, a scotch and dry and then a rum and dry the dry ginger will make me drunk. fhis ha' be'en clinielly pfroven, hic. H
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Regular Contributor
I'm with Harker. Definitely need a photo of the dress as the dress is what makes the whole thing real isn't it? That and a $20,000 price tag for a big gathering where no-one talks to the couple? Pretending is much cheaper and I would imaginr much more fun. Keeps the excitement and the mystery!
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Contributor
Soooo funny. I'm proudly married and had a wonderful wedding day. But so long as you're loving each other and supporting one another that piece of paper doesn't mean any more or less. Cheers Terese.
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Occasional Contributor
Worth a shot - everyone knows that these sorts of stats are correct. And married men usually have better heath outcomes than single guys, mainly becasue you dont have time to get crook and still be able to do the housework. Oh, and make sure you pay off the morgage before you go, arrange to sell the kids for medical reseach, and get someone to take over the lawn mowing/gardening. You can have wonderful pointless aruments about anything thats based on factual knowledge, etc etc. Andrew
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Occasional Contributor
Wasnt sure whether this one was a bit tongue in cheek 🙂 It made a good read though. I am not married yet but I found out something that annoyed me yesterday. I cannot make provision for my partner in my nomination of beneficiaries form for my superannuation. I can only nominate the legal representative of my estate, a spouse, child, financial dependent or interdependency relationship. My girlfriend is not my spouse, we're not married and I'm not going to ask her just so she can be on a form 🙂 Shes not my child so that options out, she doesnt rely on me financially, though i do enjoy spoiling her and we're not in an interdependent relationship. I spoke to the representative of my estate (my brother) and told him to make sure she was looked after. Just the mention of the word cancer from the medical profession has turned my life upside down. I never expected to be thinking of end of life strategies and putting my affairs in order at 47. Oh well, like ive always said, death is a part of life, the last part 🙂 Sorry, keeping my sense of humour!
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Contributor
hi there, my boyfriend has just had a horrible year of bowel cancer, surgeries chemo and radiotherapy.. id say before all this he wasnt to keen on the idea of marriage.. and now he tells me he cant wait to marry me.. i guess you realize what means the most to you and whats important... he knows ive been there all along.. i have also read that people in relationships live longer than those that are single.. wether or not its true i dont know, but it does help to have someone to lean on 🙂
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Super Contributor
Once again an interesting and amusing view from oldhippy.
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Occasional Contributor
Hi there, my fiance said yes to my proposal on saturday. I guess that would have become immediately apparent though when I called her that 🙂 I took her back to the place where we first met which was a shopping centre and left roses at various shops for her to go to. She had no idea, she thought she just had to go to one shop and then come pick me up from home but I was waiting for her in the food court dressed in a suit and tie with more roses. I was so nervous I was shaking like a leaf. I was about to go down on one but she gave me the look and said "Dont you dare!" hehe. I think she felt embarrased enough already as it was. I'm so glad its done now, I can finally breathe again 🙂 Sorry to hear about your boyfriend. How is he doing now? Not looking forward to all the treatments myself if I have to go down that path. Yes you do realise whats most important to you when you are faced with your own mortality. I think we will have a long engagement, wait till her children move out of home perhaps then we can do our own thing together. Though when we told them last night at my place they immediately said "Mum, lets sell up and move in here" 🙂 Even had their rooms chosen!
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Occasional Contributor
The last part of that reply made me laugh out loud. If I was married I would be in trouble. I'm up at 3:30am in the bedroom with the light on, laughing out loud. She would NOT be happy 🙂
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Occasional Contributor
I must confess that marriage does scare me a little the second time around. We have talked about it and came to an agreement that we would have separate rooms to sleep in some nights when we eventually end up living together. I think for me its important to keep the spark going and a bit of our own separate space in the house will be a good thing 🙂
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