They say happy wife, happy life — and Esmond Allcock knows more than anyone just how true it is! The Canada native recently celebrated his 108th birthday, and credited his long life to “picking a good wife.” When asked about his secret to his longevity, he gushed, “I didn’t behave myself for a few years there, but then I got a really good wife.”

Aww! Esmond lost his wife Helen seven years ago; at the time, they had been married for 72 years. Though he lives without his wife now, he has 67 living relatives — including his 38 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

And it turns out, that Esmond is totally on to something! According to research, there are countless benefits to your physical health when it comes to being married. According to research, people who are married tend to live longer, have fewer strokes and heart attacks, have a lower chance of becoming depressed, be less likely to have advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis (and are more likely to survive cancer for a longer period of time), and survive a major operation more often. Plus, you get to spend your whole life with your best friend — which is pretty cool on its own!

We should mention that there are also psychological benefits to being married as well! Not only do people in happy marriages tend to do better physically, but statistics show that walking down the aisle decreases one’s risk for substance abuse, and married men and women not only drink less, but also use less drugs than their unmarried counterparts.

But perhaps the most telling research of all backs up Esmond’s theory — being married definitely helps you live longer! Dr. Scott Haltzman found that there’s a definite correlation between living longer and being married. “90 percent of married women who were alive at age 45 make it to 65, versus slightly more than 80 percent of divorced and never-married women,” he said. “Mortality rates are 50 percent higher for unmarried women.” And the stakes are even higher for men; men who were alive at 48 had a 90 percent chance of reaching age 65 if they were married, but only a 60-70 percent chance if they were single.

In other words, thank your wife. And maybe buy her something nice!