Here's an interesting little essay on marriage and economics from Megan McArdle. I liked reading and thinking about it, because I have some background in economics and because I hate to see young folks giving up on the concept of marriage.
I have a terrific husband, and we've been together 39 years as of last month. I recognize how fortunate we are and I realize that marriage isn't for everyone.
On the other hand, I see Ms. McArdle's idea, and her commenters ideas about how marriage partners can benefit each other so very much in life. Marriage has quite a few possible clear benefits, and I see them in my life and the lives of my friends and loved ones:
- If you're tired, discouraged, or just not feeling well, it's quite likely your partner isn't having a rotten day at the same time. You can help each other through the difficulties of life, and share the high points.
- You can specialize, like Megan describes, and receive significant economic benefit. My husband enjoys fixing things, which saves us money on repairs. I am quite happy to cook nutritious food every day, which saves us money on our food bills. Without John, I'd have to spend time trying to fix things and trying to decide whether to pay for expensive repairs when it was too difficult; without me, he'd be eating out or forced to spend his time learning to cook and cooking.
- You pool your money, your housing, your skills, your family support, your creativity, even your educational background. John has taught me quite a bit about keeping my knitting machines maintained and working. We feed each other ideas all the time.
- In a great marriage, you can bring the best out of each other. I can think of so many examples of my husband encouraging me to try something or do something! For instance, John is the one who told me to put up YouTube videos to teach knitting to people who have no local lessons available. John always thinks I can do things, and because of that, I try a lot of things that I wouldn't attempt otherwise.