Is a happy marriage the key to good health? Yes, according to researchers at the University of Missouri.
Overall, married people are in better mental and physical health than their unmarried — divorced or widowed — peers.
The health benefits may be strong enough that working on your marriage can improve your health throughout your years as a couple. Engaging your partner can lift your spirits and wellbeing, while lowering your stress level.
On the flip side, aging adults whose physical health is on the decline could benefit from improving their marriage, the researchers said. If you have a chronic health condition, your marital relationship can be an important part of your treatment plan. And understanding a partner’s health issues and how to manage them at home can improve the health of both partners. This is especially important as you grow old together.
The takeaway? The health of both partners can get a positive boost by treating each other with greater care. Pay more attention to your spouse and nurture your marriage to keep it a happy one. And realize that when thinking about your health, the state of your marriage is a factor, perhaps on a par with diet, exercise, and other key lifestyle habits.
So, you can be healthier in a happy marriage, but you still need to pay attention to your health and wellness to achieve that.