Several studies reveal that marriage is good for the heart and mind (literally). Though, it’s not just enough to get married. For many couples, their spouses often play the role of a best friend, caregiver, number 1 fan, economic partner, and emotional support system. That’s why it takes a happy union to benefit a person’s heart and mental health. And considering the amount of time couples spend together, it makes sense that the quality of marriage can really correlate with a person’s physical health. So, some spouses may drive you crazy with their all-night snoring and other strange and annoying habits but they can actually save your life.
This may sound like an overstatement but there is a piece of fascinating psychological evidence suggesting that happily married people may experience better health conditions than those who consistently have unhappy marriage or are never married at all. Let us consider the people who experience “social rejection” or being unwanted by someone they have a close relationship with. According to Dr. Matthew Burg, a clinical psychologist, and professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, these people may show some greater levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines or the proteins that trigger inflammation in the body as a response of the immune system. Experiencing these high levels of inflammation for a long time can even lead to arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Some cases may also result in anxiety or depression, especially if and when a person overthinks about having no one to grow old with or being stuck up in a toxic relationship that may include physical or emotional abuse and harassment.
Additionally, some studies also found that couples who got divorced or widowed have a 42 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease, the same percent higher risk of death from coronary heart disease, and 55 percent from a stroke. While some research using a CT Scan medical imaging procedure showed that patients who felt that they had a supportive spouse had less buildup of calcium in their arterial walls, giving them a lower risk for heart diseases.
Here are other heart and mental health-related benefits of tying the knot with not just the right person but also the love of your life.
A better bed partner would also mean a better bedtime for most women. Research says that women in stable relationships have lower risks of sleep problems, especially if couples go to bed at the same time. For many couples, bedtime is the best opportunity for meaningful conversations where they can talk about random things such as kids, work, news, socials, emotions, plans, or dreams. That’s why they often refer to bedtime as “pillow talk”. Plus, how couples say goodnight can greatly affect the feeling that each spouse can hold all night long. Whereas relational connection and burning desire to be with your spouse the next morning can also give couples a better, relaxing sleep.
Lower Stress Levels
Although marriage can be stressful sometimes, couples must learn how to handle other stressors in their lives to make everything else easier. In most cases, married participants and those with committed relationships and have kids may have lower production of cortisol, which is a hormone necessary to regulate stress. This way can act as a buffer against tension or anxiety.
Fast Recovery from a Major Surgery
Having someone to have your back while going under a major surgery or childbirth can lessen a patient’s worry and root for fast recuperation. Studies also infer that a happily wedded patient is three times as likely to still be alive fifteen years later after an operation. Maybe there’s really something about a good marriage that helps a person keep on track.
When you settle down and build your own family, you also keep yourself aware that there’s somebody who depends on you ‒ spouse and kids. Knowing that you have them in your life gives you the conscious decision to put yourself away from any danger above all else. In that way, married life encourages you to practice safer behavior for the sake of your family. For example, careful driving especially when kids are on board.
And the bottom line of all these ‒ longevity. For all we know, there’s a head-heart connection that keeps our core alive, that it’s not surprising when problems with both cardiovascular and nervous systems often befall together. So, given a happy marriage provides major health benefits means that having a partner through middle and old age prolongs life as well.