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January 10, 2013
by Casey Truffo, LMFT

Is Marriage Good for Your Health?

January 10, 2013 02:55 by Casey Truffo, LMFT

Part of the traditional marriage vows indicate a partner's willingness to remain together in sickness and in health.  So, could getting married to remain healthy as good of a reason to tie the knot as love?  Many researchers over the years have reported that marriage is good for your health and that healthy married people are less likely to die at the same rate as unmarried people.  More recent research agreed that marriage is, in fact, a positive move, up until the point that a person's health begins declining.  A 20-year study showed healthy, unmarried people were about 75 percent more likely to have died than married people.  So, what does that really mean?  At a glance, it seems that marriage encourages people to be healthy due to having a purpose in life; that purpose being that they are depended upon in a relationship by their partner.  It makes you wonder if love fades, then, at the same rate as health fades.  Some people think that married people are less likely to report having failing health than singles are.  On many occasions, it seems that by the time a married person reports their health problems, they may already be very close to the end of their life. 

Let's look at all of this in another way.  Obviously, those who are in a good, positive marriage will most likely be in better health, if only due to being happy without much drama or stress in their lives.  So, that being said, it makes you wonder if men and women show the same health-related advantages as a result of being married.  For men, it appears that the happier their marriage, the higher their survival rate.  For example, married men who had to undergo heart surgery were more than twice as likely than unmarried men to be alive 10 to 15 years later.  For women, the status of their marriage is even more important.  Women who are very satisfied with their marriages increase their survival rate almost four times of that of their unmarried counterparts.

It seems that there really is a connection between love and happiness.  Married people are likely to be happy with life compared to those who are single, living together, separated, divorced, or widowed.  Also worth noting, a good marriage is better for your quality of life than a high-paying job.  Married people are less depressed and having fewer mental issues than singles as well.  This is likely because of trust in the marriage and the ability to talk about things with your spouse, knowing you will not be judged.  There are studies that show mental health increases substantially for marrieds and deteriorates substantially for divorcees or those who are separated.  More statistics indicate that marrieds also have lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, and better immune systems.

Obviously, there are other things about marriage to consider.  Marriage will not sustain itself.  It takes a lot of work and commitment to maintain a wonderful, happy relationship.  No marriage goes from start to finish without problems along the way.  If you are having problems, such as arguing, not talking at all, or you or your spouse are experiencing low self-esteem, you should seek professional help.  In order to maintain a healthy, lovely marriage, it is important to go back to the basics.  No doubt you have heard or read all of these things many times before, but it bears repeating that all of these things are the basics for living in a healthy marriage. 

Communicate - For any relationship, including marriage, communication is the key to healthy relationships.  Poor communication leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and other problems.

Be Positive - Negativity weakens a marriage and will eventually damage it if you are not careful. 

Have Sex - Sex is a vital part of a healthy marriage.  Remember to hug, kiss, hold hands, and talk.  It isn't hard to fall into the cycle of feeling more like roommates than husband and wife. 

Understanding and Respect - Understand the way your spouse likes to be loved.  Respect your spouse, and show you appreciate your spouse by staying thank you often.  Show appreciation to your spouse as often as possible. 

Quality Time - Make it a priority to spend time together as a couple in love.  This is especially important once children enter your world.  If you have to, schedule time for a date on your calendars and take turns choosing where you will go or what you will do on your date.  Do this at least once a month; once a week is preferable. 

Get Help when Needed - The most important piece of advice is this: Realize that there are trying times in any marriage, and accept the fact that there may be times when you and your spouse need to seek professional help to get you through a crossroads.  People change, situations change, and relationships change.  What you do not want to happen is to turn into a couple who share a space with no emotional attachment. 

The most important consideration is the quality of your marriage.  Many different researches have concluded that a happy marriage can add a number of years to your life.  Marriage is an important factor to think about, all while making sure to treat your spouse with respect.  So, any way you look at it, a strong marriage really is something worth working for.

If you are having issues in your marriage that you cannot seem to work through on your own, as a couple, it is time to seek professional help.  Let the trained counselors at the Orange County Relationship Center help you through the rough times so you can maintain a positive relationship with your spouse.  Call us today at 949-220-3211, or schedule an appointment online.

About the Author

OC Relationship Center OC Relationship Center, LMFT

You deserve to feel better - in your life and relationships. At OC Relationship Center we want to help you find more love, more joy, more peace...and less conflict and less stress. Our licensed and caring counselors can help if you are single, dating, married, divorced.

OC Relationship Center can be found at
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