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Healthy ever after? Research shows a good relationship has health benefits


Photo by: ^@^ina

Most of us would agree that there are many benefits to being married.  The idea of having a life long partner to share in the good times and provide support during the rough patches in life, is appealing to the vast majority of people.  And, if that notion doesn't get you on board, there are plenty of practical benefits to holy matrimony.  Tax breaks, sharing household duties, and raising a family are all touted benefits of walking down the aisle. 

Recent studies also find that married people tend to be happier, healthier, and live longer than their unmarried counterparts.  However, the latest research shows that simply being married doesn't give you a one-way ticket to health and well being.  The condition of your marriage plays a vital role in the status of your health.  If good marriages contribute to your health, then bad marriages can cause you to have significant health problems.  In fact, a bad marriage could be more dangerous to your health than if you decided to stay single.

According to WebMD, being in love and in a committed relationship will have direct benefits on health.  Those with loving relationships have fewer doctor visits, are less likely to be depressed, have lower blood pressure, and live longer.  On the flip side, Tara Parker-Pope who is a columnist for the New York Times, writes in her article "Is Marriage Good for Your Health?" that the correlation found between bad relationships and health problems is solidly linked.  Parker-Pope discussed her findings this morning on the Today Show (click here to view).  She points out recent studies including a study conducted last year that was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.  That study showed that men and women who end up divorced or widowed suffered a decline in their health that they were unable to recover from.   Surprisingly, those who were never married actually had fewer health problems than those whose marriages had ended.

Bad relationships and marriages may actually effect women more than men.  Last year, WebMD focused on a study that showed women having higher rates of depression, high blood pressure, and obesity while in a tense or strained relationship than their male counterparts.  Specifically, women showed higher risk of symptoms involving metabolic syndrome, which is a key factor in heart disease, diabetes and stroke. 

The key to having your relationship be a health benefit to your life is good communication with your significant other.  Learn to discuss problems and face them head on, rather than hold grudges and wallow in resentment.  The feelings that you have about your husband or boyfriend will appear in your health; whether they are good or bad.  If you are committed to your spouse and communication is not improving, you may want to consider relationship counseling.

If you are living in the Metro Detroit area and interested in relationship counseling, there are many respected centers and therapists for you to choose from.  Innervision Christian Counseling has counseling services that are based on the Christian faith.  The Relationship Institute offers couples counseling for marriages as well as premarital counseling.  You may also want to try Michigan Family & Marriage Counseling which offers locations in every area of Metro Detroit.


  • eirashalini 5 years ago

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  • Limestone Lover 5 years ago

    I am so glad that you wrote this article. This encourages me to maintain the great relationship which I have with my wife. Not only for my health, but for hers, too. I look forward to a long healthy life with my loving wife. Keep up the good work in informing us of how to live better and encouraging us to keep working at maintaining good health.

  • Tracy 5 years ago

    This is valuable information. Not only is it nice to know that there is a huge health benefit to being in a loving, caring, trusting relationship; but it is equally important to know that if it is a bad situation, that you, in turn will be unhealthy physically. People figure they can handle their emotions, but even doing that, you cannot control the physical manifestations the negativity creates.
    I have started a blog with a friend in which we talk about divorce...why it happened to us, our journey along the way, etc. We take a lighthearted, witty approach to a serious subject. I would love you to read and comment on our posts.

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