​You know that dreaded little thing called a mid-life crisis? New research shows married couples are more likely to avoid falling into the 40s rut. Score! But that’s just one of reasons married people make out better than singles over the long run.

“Since the dawn of time, humans have survived and thrived in small groups or tribes,” says licensed marriage therapist Alisa Ruby Bash. “Flash forward to the present, and we still seem to function best both physically and emotionally within our own family systems and partnerships.”
Here are four more ways marriage helps make you happier:

You’re better off financially.

“In many cases, marriage increases our household income, and our lifestyle opportunities,” explains Bash. You’ll enjoy additional tax break, more healthcare options, and joint salaries. “Of course, the emotional security of knowing that you are investing in a relationship that will hopefully last a lifetime is very soothing to the psyche.”
You can focus on what’s important.

“The comfort of stability, security, and familiarity allows couples to relax and refocus their energy on other areas of their lives such as career, personal growth, and building a family, rather than hunting for a mate,” Bash says. “And hopefully, when we do commit to our partners, the love we invest in will continue to grow with time into our old age.”

You’ll have more sex.

“Although we’ve all heard the stereotypes about sex decreasing after marriage, research proves otherwise,” says Bash. “In fact, according to the Kinsey Institute, at least 36 percent of married couples have sex two or two times a week — which is 20 more than single people.”
You’ve got built-in support.

“Marriage and the comfort of a life partner help bring us the emotional support, and the physical help of a lover and a best friend to lean on in the rough patches,” Bash says. “Although we all want to avoid suffering, unfortunately no one escapes life without it. Sharing our lives with someone who can help us get through the various disappointments and losses that life brings, increases our well being.”