Sunday, January 31, 2021

Premarital Coaching: The Benefits of Marriage

by Deborah Joy Block, Certified Life Coach, Event Planner, Matchmaker and Wedding Dance Expert

Congratulations on finding your soul mate! It is truly a blessing to marry your best friend. Your wedding day will be one of the happiest days of your life but it’s only the beginning of an amazing journey. Marriage, the union of one man and one woman, is a sacred and personal but, not private relationship as it has great public significance. Marriage is good for the couple and it also provides the optimal conditions for bearing and raising children. Marriage makes an essential contribution to the common good of society. Some specific benefits are identified below. Virginia does not allow the creation of a “common law” marriage, a relationship in which a couple lives together but have not participated in a lawful ceremony. Unlike some other states, in Virginia a couple cannot acquire marital rights and responsibilities by living together for a particular period of time. For example, as a domestic partner, you cannot collect your partner’s social security. Read on for the many benefits of a lawful marriage.

Sex gets even hotter: By now you've learned eachother's hot spots and pleasure zones and you really know and trust each other. What you may have wondered about before can be something you work out together. Little is off limits and you don't worry about being judged when you express your needs and desires.

Your appreciation for one another grows: You may have appreciated the gestures your partner did while you were dating but his loyalty and commitment holds even more weight when you are juggling a busy household together or navigating stressful moments in life which inevitably arise in marriage. Plus when you see some of your other friend's partners, you may just appreciate how awesome yours is.

The love you feel gets even stronger: The reality is that falling in love and being in love are very different chemically in our brains so don't expect the daily fireworks you had in the first year of dating. In many ways though your love can grow deeper and stronger through time. And even though you may not want to makeout all the time like you used to, you can still find time for novelty, play and adventure. Marriage magnifies everything. Some of your partners quirks become more irritating but your partners strengths will become even greater as you grow closer. In a good relationship you grow together and make each other better people. 

Marriage and Health: On average, husbands and wives are healthier, happier and enjoy longer lives than those who are not married. Men appear to reap the most physical health benefits from marriage and suffer the greatest health consequences of divorce. Married mothers have lower rates of depression than single or cohabitating mothers, probably because they are more likely to receive practical and emotional support from their child's father and his family.

Marriage and Wealth: Married couples build more wealth on average than singles or cohabiting couples. Married men earn more money than single men with similar education and job histories. Married women are economically better off than divorced, cohabiting or never married women. 

Marriage and children: Children raised by their own married mother and father are less likely to be poor or to experience persistent economic insecurity, more likely to stay in school, have fewer behavioral and attendence problems and earn four year college degrees. They are less vulnerable to serious emotional illness like depression and suicide and are more likely to have positive attitudes towards marriage and greater success in forming lasting marriages.

Marriage and Crime/Domestic Violence: Married women are at lower risk for domestic violence than women in cohabiting or dating relationships. Boys raised in single parent homes are more likely to engage in criminal and delinquent behavior than those raised by two married biological parents. Married women are significantly less likely to be the victims of violent crime than single or divorced women. Married men are less likely to perpetrate violent crimes than unmarried men.

Marriage and Society: The institution of marriage reliably creates the social, economic and affective conditions for effective parenting. Being married changes people's lifestyles and habits in ways that are personally and socially beneficial. Marriage is a seedbed of prosocial behavior. Being married changes peoples lifestyles and habits in ways that are personally and socially beneficial. Marriage is a seedbed of prosocial behavior. Marriages generates social capital. The social bonds created through marriage yield benefits not only for the family but for others as well including the larger society.

Marriage and money: Married couples qualify for an estate tax marital deduction. When one spouse dies, his or her estate passes to the surviving spouse, tax-free. That's not true for domestic partners. However there is a marital income tax penalty as you are taxed in a higher bracket as the government considers your incomes combined. You'll qualify for the gift tax marital deduction. As long as your spouse is a US citizen you can make tax free gifts of any amount to him or her. Unmarried couples may be surprised to find out that they owe gift taxes as a result of making gifts or supporting each other. You can roll over a deceased spouse's IRA to the surviving spouses's IRA. If your significant other dies with an IRA and you arent married you'll have to start taking distributions immediately regardless of your age. A surviving spouse has the option to roll over the IRA into his or her own IRA which makes it possible for a younger surviving spouse to postpone minimum distributions until a certain age. Married individuals can contribute to a spousal IRA. If you are a domestic partner and you don't work, you can't contribute to an IRA for retirement savings since you have no earned income. However if you're married and you have a working spouse, the non working spouse can use the working spouses income to qualify for IRA contributions. Married persons can receive survivors benefits from a pension plan. If your spouse is lucky enough to have a pension and they've elected to have survivors benefits, you will continue receiving pension benefits after he or she dies. You can receive the social security benefits of your spouse once he/she has died. You'll save on health insurance. Usually plans for onne plus a spouse a re cheaper than if you each have your own plan especially if it is an employer sponsored plan. This is especially helpful if one of you qualifies through your employer and you can bring the spouse on board with the plan coverage. If both of you are self employed however, health insurance is prohibitively expensive and your join income will likely disqualifiy you from Obamacare subsidies. 

Marriage and the Law: If your significant other is in the hospital, you may have more difficulty visiting him if you aren't a blood relation or a legal spouse. And if a judge has to name someone to make healthcare or financial deciasions on behalf of your partner, you may be overlooked in favor of a parent or sibling if you aren't married. You have more protection if your spouse dies. If one passes away without a will the state is going to dictate where your assets go. If your significant other still has parents and sibling in the equation they may recieve assets over a boyfriend or girlfriend. Prenuptial Agreement benefits - it's presumed under the law that when two people get married they are creating an economomic partnership. Filing taxes jointly may or may not help you depending on how much income each person earns.

Marriage and Expectations: Old assumptions may melt away. Individuals previously fearful of committment may find intimacy to be very healing. Feminists that were previously opposed to changing their names or reticent to have children may find themselves softening and welcome these changes as  a beautiful gift, as the love grows the urge to bring more love into the family increases and she sees the many blessings of relying on someone special to be her soft place to fall.

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