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This week is the National Marriage Week (February 7-14), an initiative founded over a decade ago to help strengthen relationships and bring awareness to the many benefits marriage offers individuals, families, government, and societies. According to The Family Research Council, “Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships, uniting a man and a woman in a “one-flesh” union.”

In this fast-paced world, it has increasingly become more difficult to balance work, life and love. Often than not, relationships are put on the back burner in favor to other engagements. However, it is important to let your loved one know that they are appreciated. Valentine’s Day also coincides during this week, which makes this the perfect time to celebrate your spouse irrespective of work, tending to your children, or spending time with friends.

To this end, there are many up-sides to being married, such as marital tax deductions, joint tax filing, social security, and other legal benefits. Below are some facts you may not know about marriage– and ones we think you should be thankful to your spouse for.

Curtailing poverty

Did you know that marriage helps reduce poverty and material hardship for disadvantaged women and their children? As stated by the Brookings Institute, the poverty rate for single-parent families is six times that of married families. When you have two combined incomes, there is a better chance at meeting the child’s and a family’s needs than with just one income.

Increased wealth

Married couples seem to build more wealth on average than singles or cohabiting couples. Married couples have a vested interest in each other’s financial futures. This might include saving to own a shared home or planning for a family. On the other hand, cohabitating relationships are less likely to plan for their financial future.

In addition, according to The Oxford Academic, men who are married tend to earn more money than single men with similar education and work history. The study shows that men who are at a lower pay level and are married, become intrinsically motivated to work harder and put in more effort at work, which in turn results in pay increases.

Better Health

Men and women who are married tend to live longer lives than those who are divorced or single. Conversely, according to Journal of Men’s Health, men who become divorced are likely to suffer from heart-disease, stroke or high-blood pressure. Also, children whose parents divorce have higher rates of psychological distress and mental illness.

Having someone to share your emotions and thoughts helps to relieve stress and anxiety like having a partner to give you affection when you come home. Married mothers have lower rates of depression than do single or cohabiting mothers.

Marriage has many positive effects financially, emotionally and socially. If you are not married, these are very good reasons to plan to marry in the future. For the married couples, today is a day you can dedicate the time to show your spouse love today.