Stress kills, and few things are as stressful as a bad marriage. Researchers at the universities of Michigan and Nevada have found that marital conflicts can be bad for your health. Chronic marital stress may even be on the same level as smoking and drinking for certain risk factors.

Marry Wisely Or Die Trying

Researchers found that marital conflict affects husbands and wives equally. Rosie Shrout, one of the study’s co-authors, presented the preliminary results at the International Association for Relationship Research in Colorado. Long-term relationship conflicts can trigger inflammation, release stress hormones, and suppress appetite.

Stress can even disrupt the immune system and negatively affect heart function. According to Shrout, “Experiencing a great deal of conflict in a relationship is very damaging to health, as are negative health behaviors like smoking and drinking.”

A Study Longer Than Most Marriages

The study followed 373 heterosexual couples over the first 16 years of marriage. Researchers hoped to discover if conflicts about money, children, and family was harmful to health. They reported the subjective health of husbands and wives regarding multiple topics.

Researchers asked spouses questions about their health, work performance, sleep quality, nervousness, anxiety, and headaches. The study is one of many conducted on the long-term health effects of marriage. As it turns out, marriage doesn’t have to be a health killer.

Is All Marriage Bad For Health?

A good marriage is great for your health. A bad marriage is detrimental. Several studies indicate that married people live longer than people who are divorced or never marry. The support and intimacy of a healthy marriage releases critical hormones like oxytocin and endorphins to reduce stress levels.

Married people develop fewer illnesses and heal faster when they do get sick. The recent study indicates that marriage can be a double-edged sword. You can use it to defend your health, or to cut yourself down. Marry wisely! Your health depends on it.