David Blanchflower, an economics professor at Dartmouth, published findings recently from a study that included thousands of people in 35 nations, indicating that if you're single or in a miserable marriage, you'd need to earn $100,000 more per year than you already do to be as happy as a happily married person.
It gives me pause- I may need to honestly reassess the pep talk I give single friends when they're bummed out over their lack of a love affair. Plus, it makes me rethink the supposed nobility of undying dedication to crappola marriages. When one person is willing to give and grow (and all those other silly sounding but ultimately vital sorts of relationship things) and the other isn't- well, maybe divorce is a heckuva lot more important than hanging on.
When do you judge a time's up, though? Do you wait for more research? Or just do a gut check? We Americans gut check ourselves out of over half of the marriages we get into. I'm sure there's a brilliant balance to be had somewhere between trying like hell and knowing it's best to move on when it's not working and it's not your fault. Hmmm...
Blanchflower also found that if you have sex just once a month, you'd need to earn $50,000 more a year to be as happy as someone having sex once a week with a monogamous partner. Which reminds me that some couples write a mandatory minimum of sex four times a week into their prenups. Yeah, non sequitur, I know. My brain jumps around.
Anyhoo, all this from an economics professor. Which reminds me that you should duffinitely read Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner. More "economics will explain everything" stuff and a lot of it completely counterintuitive and really eye opening.