Two angry interlaced cobras biting one another

Your Bad Marriage is Killing You – Here’s How

Being trapped in an unhappy marriage will make anyone miserable. It’s difficult financially and emotionally to stay with a partner you’ve fallen out of love with. What most people don’t realize is that a bad marriage can have real physical effects on your health and wellbeing.  Filing a divorce before a marriage becomes a prison sentence can add years to your life!

A group of prominent
British researchers studying a test group of 373 couples for 16 years after
they tied the knot. The study focused on the relationship between marital
conflicts and wellbeing.

researchers tracked two things:

  • How much
    conflict was each couple having in their marriage?
  • How was their
    physical health changing as the years went by?

What the researchers
found when they looked at the physical effects of an unhappy marriage was truly
shocking. Those in unhappy relationships had higher stress hormones and
inflammation markers. This means the body was physically reacting to living in
an unhappy environment in ways that made these people sick. Even more chilling,
those in high-conflict relationships had even greater rates of heart disease
and autoimmune disorders.

Is Marriage Actually Killing You?

The results showed
that men and women both suffered serious negative health effects from bad
marriages, but men suffered much more. For women, the effect on health did not
change much based on how frequent disagreements were. Women who fought with
their husbands once a month or once a day were equally likely to have serious
health complications, and both were much less healthy than women in “happy”
relationships where fights between spouses were not normal events.

when the men were studied, it became clear that not only was the effects of a
stressful marriage more pronounced, but that their health suffered proportional
to how frequently they fought with their spouses. Rates of heart disease and
substance abuse increased with the frequency of their marital conflict.

Is Marriage Driving You Crazy?

was also evidence of a clear link between these unhappy marriages and mental
health.  Spouses in conflicts reported
their emotions interfering with work, trouble sleeping, migraine headaches, or
fidgeting and restlessness. Serious mental health diagnoses were also most
common in this group.

A Professor of
Psychology at the University of Essex noted that while no single fight in a
relationship will permanently harm a person’s health, the research is clear
that long term conflict correlates to declines in physical and mental health.

exert connected to the study said that experiencing continuous fighting in a
relationship could be as dangerous to your long term health as drinking and

study also shows that the inverse is true; those in a happy relationship had
much better outcomes. They were healthier, had lower rates of disease and
mental illness, and lower inflammation and stress hormones.

           What does this all mean? Many older studies showed a positive relationship between health and marriage. What they did not take into account was that walking down the aisle has little to do with your health. It’s how you live as a couple that matters. A loving, caring relationship can add years to your life. But if you are trapped in a miserable marriage, you should start thinking about divorce or separation–before it’s too late.

Co-written by Sebatian Weiss