It may seem obvious that a good marriage is beneficial to your health and well-being, but surprisingly, science is now backing those claims.
According to a longitudinal study recently published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, happy marriages are correlated with good health, while marital problems are correlated with declining health.
That’s not all: as reported by the July 2010 Harvard Men’s Health Watch, 127,545 surveyed Americans came to the conclusion that men who stay married, as opposed to getting divorced or becoming widowed, live longer and have healthier lives than those whose marriages ended or who were never married at all. Okay, so improving your marriage won’t completely keep you from harm, but with so much good mojo free for the taking, why not take steps to better your marriage and health?
4 Ways to Improve Your Marriage AND Your Health
According to the University of Maryland, couples who belong to healthy marriages share a number of traits, including merging life philosophies, being honest, praising one another and using criticism wisely. They show interest in one another’s work, discuss conflict reasonably and limit the use of damaging behaviors like sarcasm, nagging and complaining.
Among its many benefits, education is good for marriage as well. Harvard reports that a 2002 study found that a man’s risk of coronary heart disease lowers in correlation to his wife’s level of education rising. A 2009 study indicates death rates among men also decrease as their wives up their credentials.
Presents Never Hurt
Everyone likes to receive presents, and although marriage depends on deeper matters than the outlay of cash, remembering birthdays and special occasions is a good way to draw closer to one another. It may seem commercial or shallow, but giving a gift actually indicates emotional attachment, appreciation and altruistic concern for others, according to South University. Not only that, but searching for your gift can give you an emotional uplift due to having to spend time thinking about your spouse’s good qualities and the reasons you love them. Lacking ideas? Try a day of pampering, a special meal out or holiday gift baskets to mark special occasions.
Happy and healthy couples stay involved in each other’s lives. This not only improves marriage, but can have an impact on recuperating after sickness. Christine Proulx, as quoted by the University of Missouri News Bureau, suspects involving spouses and other close family and friends in patients’ treatment plans would up the odds of that treatment succeeding.“Engaging with your spouse is not going to cure cancer, but building stronger relationships can improve both people’s spirits and well-being and lower their stress,” she said, adding that including spouses in the plan might help patients stay on track long term.