Your Marriage Could Be Taking Years Off Your Life

happy older woman

At 115 years old, Emma Morano is the oldest living person not just in her town of Verbania, Italy, but in Europe. She's also the fifth oldest in the world. And not only is this adorable supercentenarian still in relatively good health, but she's just fine living alone. Which brings us to what Morano credits as the secret to her jaw-dropping longevity ... being single.

Advertisement

Well, there are raw eggs, too. Morano told a New York Times reporter that she's been downing three a day since her teens, when a doctor recommended doing so to cure an iron deficiency.

But Morano also believes that being (happily) single is responsible for her living so long. She's been single most of her life, following an unhappy marriage that ended way back in 1938. (Divorce wasn't even legalized in Italy until 1970, so Morano was pretty independent even then!)

Sure, she was romantically involved with men at various other parts of her life, but she never married again. As she told the NYT, "I didn't want to be dominated by anyone."

(We guess she will not be seeing Fifty Shades of Grey.)

More From The Stir: 7 Things Wives Shouldn't Stop Doing After They're Married

But is there any truth to Morano's claims that marriage literally sucks the life out of you?

Perhaps.

"Being single, [Morano] didn't have the stresses of a marriage, which can adversely affect health," says Elizabeth R. Lombardo, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love. "She was able to focus on her own needs -- physical and psychological."

That's not to say that Morano has been living a selfish life, only thinking of herself, Lombardo explains. Just that being single all these years "has afforded her the opportunity to take care of herself, do things she enjoys, and not put off her needs in order to take care of her husband."

So maybe prioritizing yourself -- taking care of yourself, doing things you enjoy, not putting off your own needs to fulfill your spouse's -- within your marriage is key. In other words, holding true to yourself inside or outside of a relationship could just be the elixir of life. 

Happily, women today, who've grown up with a more egalitarian view of marriage, probably have a better shot of doing so.

If you want to try eating raw eggs, however, you are on your own.

Do you think single women take better care of themselves?

 

Image © iStock.com/P_Wei

Read More >