You definitely shouldn't go into a marriage for the reason that it will improve you as a person.
It does, however, seem to a handy side effect.
New research from Tilburg University in the Netherlands suggests that marriage helps foster self-control and forgiveness.
The study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, surveyed 199 newlywed couples and measured how forgiving each partner was.
They did so by asking participants the extent to which they agreed with:
When my partner wrongs me, my approach is just to forgive and forget.
They measured self-control, by measuring agreement with:
I am good at resisting temptation.
They did so again for both statements year on year for four years, finding that perceived levels of forgiveness and self-control increased.
However, these developments didn't necessarily rise in correlation with each other.
Dr Tila Pronk, lead author, wrote:
Having a high level of self-control is a desirable attribute: It helps one to prosper in almost all domains in life, including close relationships.
Similarly, being forgiving toward one's spouse not only benefits the relationship but also contributes to individual health and well-being.
It would thus make sense for people to strive to improve their levels of self-control and forgiveness, especially when they recently committed to their relationship.