Surely, some of you have found yourself arguing constantly with your husband or wife or being around a couple that seems to drive each other crazy. Everybody knows people like that, raising questions about why or how these couples can possibly stay together.
Well, it turns out that a poor-quality marriage, one filled with stress, arguing, fear, and dissatisfaction, can be quite damaging to the health of your heart. So it’s true that a poor marriage can lead to a broken (and unhealthy) heart.
Researchers looked at five years’ worth of data from roughly 1,200 married men and women who were between 57 and 85 years old at the beginning of the study. Participants answered survey questions about the quality of their marriage and provided their medical history about heart attacks, strokes, and hypertension. They also underwent lab tests to assess cardiovascular health.
The results showed that a bad marriage is damaging to heart health, likely from the stress it provides. This really isn’t overly shocking, as there are a number of physical symptoms caused by high-stress situations. And as you might imagine, the longer you’re under such stress, the more impactful the symptoms are.
Stress can damage your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and the effects of disease. And because it impacts your cardiovascular health, which is literally the pulse of your existence, reducing the negative effects of a stressful marriage is crucial to your health.
If you’re unhappy with the quality of your marriage and it’s causing all kinds of anxiety, seek help. Even if you’ve been married for 30 years or more, therapy is useful. You don’t want to live on edge all the time, fearful of the next argument. This takes a major toll on your body and gets worse with time.
If you’d like to see if you can improve the situation yourself before going to therapy, try talking to your partner and let them know how you feel. Do so delicately to avoid creating an aggressive situation, but keep in mind that openness is the key to comfort. Express how you’re feeling without accusing your partner. And try to listen closely as your partner expresses their feelings. When people keep things bottled up until they explode, problems occur.
You can also try to find activities you can do together in order to enjoy each other’s company a little more. One fantastic idea is to do something stress-relieving together, such as meditation or exercise; you can reduce the stress that’s such a big risk factor and work on your relationship at the same time. But whatever you do, make sure you are fully committed to get the results you want.
Source for Today’s Article:
Haines, C., “Marriage and Heart Health,” Medline web site, November 25, 2014; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/videos/news/Marriage_112514-1.html.