Marriage Shortens Woman's Life


Married CoupleNew studies show that while married men live longer, the marriage takes away more than one year women’s lifespan. Matrimony stretches husbands’ lifespan by 1.7 years, but shrinks an average wife’s lifespan by 1.4 years. This was demonstrated by the results of the study involving 100 000 people across Europe, Independent reports.

One of the key factors for married women’s shorter lifespan is that they are playing two parts simultaneously – the role of working woman and the role of housewife.

Another factor revealed by the research group headed by Stefan Felder from the University of Magdeburg in Germany is an inborn woman’s tendency to imitate the way their spouses behave. For example, nonsmoking woman married to a smoker often starts smoking herself or becomes a passive smoker. Researches believe that regular sex, against conventional wisdom, may shorten woman’s lifespan because of hormonal changes. On the other hand, these changes benefit men.

The findings are supported by the latest statistics showing British men’s lifespan (from 1981 to 2002) stretched by 5.1 years while British women added only 3.7 years.


  1. I’m not sure I buy it and here’s why: women live longer than men, right? So with married couples that would mean the men more often die first ( But men do tend to marry younger women so perhaps this offsets – Who knows?) leaving the other to deal with all the stresses in life without the support of their spouse. None of these studies seem to address will to live, or the emotional makeup of the surviving spouse. For all we know this could be the major contributing factor overriding all other considerations of hormonal balance.

    In the end, I believe it will all boil down to stress. As women in modern society more often take on the roles previously held by men in the workplace they add more stress. This can likely fully explain why womens lifespans have not risen as fast as men’s. Perhaps there also needs to be studies done on the different types of stress and how the sexes handle them. For example, I imagine birthing a child is very stressful to a woman -physically and emotionally, but perhaps their bodies and emotional makeup have better adapted them to handle this stress better than say the stress in the workplace? Careful, don’t read a supposed bias on my part into this where there is none. It was just a quick exaggerated example to make my point. I suspect if men had to try an birth a baby our hair would go gray overnight. lol

    Likewise, stress from losing a spouse could also play a big role in longevity. Those who handle stress better (Is it women or men? Dunno.) may simple be those who get to live longer. Perhaps those who’s health is fading struggle all the harder to keep living so they won’t leave their spouse alone? Perhaps those who’ve lost their spouse lose some of their will to live.

  2. I don’t buy this study either. There are just too many outside factors to consider ina non clinical study. Were the married ones “happily married”? Did the single ones have a “friend” or “friends”? How do you really determine the real effect on a less tha 2% increase or decrease.

  3. Traditionally women have always been slaves of men.. cooking for them… cleaning up after them…doing their laundry..
    PLUS, in these modern days where women are supposed to be bread winners too…
    in addition to being slaves of men + mothers to children..
    Men usually benefit for as long as they live.
    Then, if they’re lucky, women benefit after the husbands die..
    Women benefit if they are left with a house and money..
    And at the same time the children are grown.
    Being old for women is the best time…
    unless she sits in front of the TV.. and waits for her funeral.
    Too often that’s all women know how to do.