A new study shows that getting married can lengthen your life up to 17 years. The study reveals that single men in mid-life have a 32 percent higher change of premature death compared to married men; meaning they could die eight to 17 years before the average married man. Single women fare slightly better in that they have a 23 percent lower life expectancy compared to their married peers.
Scientists have long researched the connection between relationships and health, and have concluded that love is good for you. Marriage benefits men physically because of the positive impact of their partner on their lifestyles. It also benefits women due to how they view the relationship; marriage is meaningful and important to women, and the resulting reduced stress could account for the fact that it extends their life spans .
Romantic relationship between 18 and 25-year-old individuals are associated with better mental health. However, not all relationships are beneficial. Young love, for example, is associated with depressive symptoms, poor mental health, bad relationships, and relationship anxiety with sleeplessness. The emotional pain of rejection and break up triggers the same regions of the brain that physical pain does.
Then again, just like fine wine, marriage and its health benefits get better with time as people mature. Women can reap the health benefits of marriage if the relationship is healthy and happy.
A happy marriage is good for post-bypass patients as well. The social support motivates them to make healthier lifestyle choices compared to their single or unhappily married counterparts.
While living solo increases an individual’s risk of alcohol-related mortality, singles can be happy too, as long as they are surrounded with people who care for them.
This is also true with people who divorce. While most divorced adults fare well and enjoy a good quality of life, divorce in men is linked to a greater risk of premature death. When couples have an unhappy marriage, they are likely to work it out or choose divorce as a reasonable option. If they feel happier after the divorce, the negative effects are minimized.
Love can be a weighty issue but so is divorce. Researchers from Ohio State confirmed that divorce isn’t waistline-friendly. Women are at risk of being overweight by 15 pounds, while men gain even more after divorce.
It’s long been reported that people in good relationships have a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, flu, cancers, stress, depression, and Alzheimer’s. They have fewer infections and when they get ill, they recover more quickly or spend less time in the hospital.
While living with your significant other may also have health benefits, even more health benefits stem from marriage. It is still not clear how these benefits are brought about, but the benefit of getting married depends on how happy your relationship is and whether you’re a male or a female.
While getting married can lengthen your life, wearing a ring is not enough. Unhappy marriages can be unhealthy because the chronic stress from a bad marriage can affect the immune system.
Women are particularly vulnerable because they are more sensitive to hostility in a relationship. This could cause obesity, depression, and hypertension. Relationship quality affects men too, but the results manifest differently.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas