Does a happy marriage equal a longer life?

Healthy heart, slimmer waistline could be result of happy marriage

ORLANDO, Fla. – In America, there is approximately one divorce every 36 seconds. That’s nearly 2,400 each day and up to 876,000 every year. But on the flip side, a recent study explains the links between a happy marriage and a number of positive health outcomes.

What’s the secret to a happy marriage?

“If we’re going to have a good relationship, we’ve got to know how to take charge fully of the quality of the space,” said Hedy Schleifer, a clinical psychologist and relationship specialist.

A new study published in the Journal of Health Psychology reveals a happy marriage correlates to better health, ranging from a healthy heart to a slimmer waistline. Participants who rated their marriage as very happy or pretty happy were 20 percent less likely to die during the study time frame compared to those who rated their marriages not so happy.

Researchers believe there are several reasons for this. Happily married people may encourage each other to adopt healthy habits, such as eating well, seeing a doctor regularly and exercising.

“They are in an unconscious survival dance that they know nothing about," Schleifer said.

Social support is also key to good health, as this can help fight chronic stressors in life. Finally, a strong marriage may improve mental health and well-being, which is known to be associated with physical health.

On the opposite end, watch out if you aren’t very happy in your relationship.

Unhappy marriages have been linked to everything from high blood pressure to a higher risk of heart disease. Time magazine reported that the divorce rate doubled for people 55 to 64, tripled for those over 65, but fell 18 percent for millennials and people under 45.

The question is, is that youngest group happily married?

About the Author: