Can Marriage Increase Life's Meaning?

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They say marriage is about taking a huge step in two people's life. There is this common belief that through marriage, one finds a brand new meaning. However, a recent study says that this is not always the case.

Tatjana Schnells' The Psychology of Meaning in Life explains the complicated answer to the question, "Can marriage increase life's meaning?"

The research explains the possible correlation between marriage and increased life's meaning. However, an article from Psychology Today emphasized that although the research shows the correlation between marriage and life's meaning, it does not attest causation. Several other factors may be considered in further understand these two aspects.

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Marriage and life's meaning (Couples who cohabited before marriage)

Those couples who chose to cohabit before getting married have a different sense of meaning than those who did not.

In cohabitation, relations are almost the same as that of married couples. However, even if the relations are almost the same, there is still an increased sense of life's meaning among those married compared to those in cohabiting relationships.

Marriage and life's meaning (Men and women's perspectives)

According to the research, men and women have a different sense of life's meaning after marriage.

Surprisingly, it is not the way cultural or social pressure dictates.

Even though women are believed to be more sentimental in concepts like marriage and relationships, men expressed a higher sense of life's meaning after being married.

This sense of life's meaning of men is compared to those of men who are single and are cohabiting.

Among women, there are no differences in the sense of life's meaning among married women, cohabiting women, and single women.

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Parenthood and life's meaning

Although many parents say that parenting is such a fulfilling job, the research also suggested that when couples become parents, there is a decrease in "life satisfaction" recorded.

However, despite this decrease due to frustrations, new parents have an increased sense of life's meaning.

In terms of parenthood and life's meaning, the results between men and women also vary.

For mothers, they have a higher sense of meaning in life compared to childless women. On the other hand, fathers have a lower sense of life's meaning compared to childless men.

Again, these results are not conclusive as other factors may be considered.

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Other possible reasons for the results of the research

As mentioned in Psychology Today, this correlation should not be the only matter taken into account. There could be other reasons as to why these results were recorded in the research.

Other factors to consider are the length of the cohabiting period of couples, cultural differences, and even religious reasons.

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