When you get married your whole life changes. No longer are you an individual living on your own – you have become part of a couple, a pair of people walking through life together. Marriage will create some big changes in your life but what you may not realize is that it can have an impact on your health as well. Keep reading to learn about the ways in which your marriage could affect your health, both physically and psychologically. The Physical Effects of Marriage on Health
It may seem strange that changing your relationship status could also change your health status, but many studies have shown that getting married can produce some very real changes. For example, a nationwide study showed that people who are married are less likely to develop heart disease than individuals who are single, widowed, or divorced. This was even seen to be true among married people who had risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and diabetes. Another study showed that people who are in a committed relationship have better long-term prognoses for cancer and a higher survival rate.
One of the reasons why marriage may improve your health is because living with a significant other means having someone there to encourage you to make healthy choices. Your spouse may become the person who asks you if you really need that second doughnut or the one who reminds you not to skip breakfast. Marriage can reduce mortality risk in general and it can also reduce your risk for acute health problems as well as chronic health issues, especially those that tend to develop during middle age. Marriage has also been linked to improved cognitive function, reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. How Does Marriage Affect Your Psychological Health?
Not only does marriage provide some significant benefits for your physical health, but it can also provide psychological benefits. For example, studies have shown that married couples who did not live together prior to marriage experience a reduction in depression levels. It also seems to be true that people in committed relationships have higher self-esteem, greater satisfaction with their lives, and better overall happiness. This may be partially due to the fact that when you get married you take on a life partner – someone who will be there for you at all times. Having this kind of support system is very beneficial for mental health.
Though there are many benefits associated with marriage, there are also some challenges to consider. While having a partner can improve your happiness and your general health, both physical and mental, the severing of that partnership can be extremely detrimental to your health. Bereavement due to the loss of a spouse can cause a great deal of stress and psychological strife, as can a divorce or separation. These risks are important to consider, but they should not keep you from getting married if that is what your heart desires.
While getting married may not be a magical solution to your health problems, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that long-term partnership can provide some very real physical and psychological benefits. To keep enjoying the benefits of marriage, be sure to do the work to keep your relationship strong and healthy. You won’t regret it!