Couples who are in the middle of bad marriages have always been advised to seek counseling for reasons such as saving the sanctity of marriage, for the sake of the children, and to have a blissful and happy existence within the family. And now a family life expert has urged spouses who are experiencing turmoil in their marriages to seek professional help for another important reason — to achieve good health.
This advice was offered based on the results of a study which was published online recently in the Journal of Marriage and Family. It was concluded by the research team, led by Rick Miller of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, that a happy marriage may allow both spouses to have a healthier live not just in the present but also in the years to come.
This study, which was undertaken with the objective of learn more about marital quality and health, involved 1,682 married persons who were followed by the researchers for a period of 20 years. Marital quality was measured in terms of happiness and satisfaction and in terms of marital problems. Subjects were also asked to rate their health based on a four-point scale ranging from poor to excellent.
Good Health Associated with Good Marriage
Two very important outcomes were highlighted by the researchers after analyzing the data gathered. It was found that as the quality of the marriage endures over the years; both partners may enjoy excellent physical health. On the other hand, when couples are in constant conflict, both may likely experience very poor health.
With years of experience as a family life expert, Rick Miller explained that with a good marriage, spouses are motivated and inspired to develop habits that may lead to good health. Both partners under this ideal condition tend to sleep better, drink less, carry a positive mental attitude, participate in healthy activities, and are encouraged to visit their doctors as often as needed. Each spouse is there to offer support when they encounter a bad day, which results to a reduction of stress. It will be noted that those mentioned are the known factors that contribute to an unsatisfactory health to an individual.
Bad Marriage Increases Poor Health
The findings of the study have prompted the research team to label a bad marriage as a risk factor for poor health. Constant fighting and argument, common indications of a bad marriage, will only add to the worsening of one’s health. Mr. Miller went as far as suggesting that health insurance should be made to include marriage counseling in their benefits, not just to strengthen the union but also prevent health problems.
With health a very vital aspect of our lives, this suggestion deserves the proper consideration. In the meantime, couples are urged to see therapists for their marital concerns. This is not just for your marriage, but also for your health.