Committing to someone “in sickness and in health” comes with an array of benefits – social, emotional, and even financial. But did you know that marriage can also take a toll on your health? Research shows that the state of your relationship can affect physical health – for better or worse.
On the bright side, there are more pros than cons to the relationship-wellness pipeline, but they’re all worth looking into. Here are some ways marriage affects our health:
- Lower risk of heart disease
A nationwide study found that married men and women have lower blood pressure. Decreasing their risk of heart attacks and diseases. There’s not enough evidence to prove what exactly causes this, but experts blame it on how married couples make healthier choices – such as getting regular check-ups and following doctor’s orders.
- Weight Gain
It’s normal for us to pack on the pounds soon after saying “I do.” In a way, it shows that we’re comfortable with our partners. Still, it’s important to be weary of any sedentary behavior or unresolved problems – for these can encourage unhealthy eating habits and a lack of exercise. A little weight gain’s never hurt anybody, but a significant increase can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
- Better mental health
The single act of supporting each other can play a critical role on the state of your mental health. When we feel secure with our partners, we produce less cortisol (the stress hormone). In fact, studies show that married couples produce experience less stress than single people.
- Higher risk of heart disease
Just because marriage comes with an array of health benefits, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any disadvantages. Unhappy marriages can take a toll on your mental AND physical health. Struggling pouses develop poor sleeping patterns, stress, and high blood pressure, which can potentially lead to inflammation and a high risk of heart disease.
There’s no doubt that marriage is a wonderful thing. In a way, it is our own little first-aid kit. But, even those run out of band-aids sometimes. Conflict is detrimental to our health – so filling the cracks along the way is essential. You can do it on your own, with your partner, or even with the help of a relationship coach.