Besides preventing you from dying alone, marriage might actually save you from, well, dying ... of lung cancer, at least. New research from the University of Maryland's Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center concluded that being married helps lung cancer patients fight the disease.
Although there were differences between genders and races in the study, 33 percent of married patients with lung cancer were still alive three years after diagnosis, compared to just 10 percent of single patients. Impressive, no? But not exactly surprising!
Sure, married people have their own stressors and dysfunctions. It's not like being a Mrs. is definitely the fix for all that ails ya! And research has shown there are serious health risks associated with being in an unhappy marriage. But not having a partner as a default caretaker should you fall ill is definitely a major drawback of being single ...
The researchers say one reason married patients likely fared better was that they had more "social support in managing and treating" their disease. Lung cancer patients "need help with day-to-day activities, getting to treatment, and making sure they receive proper follow-up care." Yup -- spouses/long-term partners often tend to be quite helpful in those departments!
But there's more to it than that. I'm sure the emotional support attached patients got from their partners played a significant part in their survival. Not that it is even close to the same thing, but I know that having my then-BF, now-fiance to lean on leading up to and following my spinal surgery certainly helped me get through it more successfully and speedily than I would have otherwise.
Just goes to show the power of partnership! Even science backs up what many lucky couples know so well: We tend to be better off when we're one-half of a happy relationship.
Do you credit your partner with helping you survive/heal from an illness?