Your Marriage, Your Health
Remember the Vulcan blessing, “Live long and prosper.” To really live long and prosper a person needs health relationships. In fact, you might have heard of the impact of one particular relationship on health. Marriage increases health and well-being. Well, that statement is only partially true. Let me be more specific. Only healthy marriages result in better health and well-being. For instance, research reveals:
- Happily married couples report fewer depressive symptoms.
- Happily married men with heart disease are expected to live an average of almost 4 years longer than unmarried men with healthy hearts.
- Living in a happy marriage is comparable to being 10 years younger.
- A stable, happy marriage is the best protector against illness and premature death.
- Overall, happily married adults live longer, experience greater health, and report being happier than their unmarried or divorced counterparts.
On the other hand, unhealthy marriages are detrimental to our health.
- Those in unhappy, conflict-ridden marriages take longer to heal from all types of wounds.
- Couples who “demonstrate sarcasm, putdowns, nastiness, and dismissals” during conflict experience weakened immune systems.
- Heart patients who describe their marriages negatively are 1.8X’s more likely to die within 4 years than those who rate their marriages more positively.
- Unmarried people spend two times more time as patients in hospitals than their married peers do.
Healthy marriages not only protect individuals in the relationship but they reflect Christ’s relationships to the Church, a relationship the world desperately needs to witness. If you want to live long and prosper, a good place to start is with your marriage. Invest in your marriage. Attend a marriage enrichment class. Read a book on marriage. Apply healthy marriage practices to your daily life. And, “life long and prosper!”