Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Bad marriage, bad health

Can marital rows make us unhealthy? According to scientists, definitely.
Being married is only good for you if it's a good marriage. In one study in Ohio, immunologist Ronald Glaser and his wife, clinical psychologist Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, recruited 76 women, half of whom were married and half divorced or separated. Using blood tests to measure the women's production of antibodies, they found the immune systems were decidedly weaker in women who were either unhappily married or emotionally hung up on their ex-husbands.

They followed this through with a study of 90 newlyweds who were made to sit face to face discussing "volatile" subjects such as housework, sex or in-laws. Many of the seemingly happy couples quickly descended into hostile behaviour, and in these couples the scientists found the largest declines in immune-system function over the 24-hour period. Fascinated by the implications, Kiecolt-Glaser went even further. She had read about a strange tool – a small plastic suction device – used by her dermatology colleagues which left eight small blisters when used on the arm. Forty-two couples had their arms "blistered", then talked to each other for half an hour, the first time on easy subjects, then the following day, after more blistering, on topics that might create a row. Kiecolt-Glaser found that after the episodes in which the couples bickered, the blisters took a day longer to heal and in the couples in which the bickering was particularly nasty, the wounds took a full two days longer than that.

The message was clear: if you fight with a loved one, it isn't only bad for your relationship, but bad for your body. Kiecolt-Glaser was unequivocal: "Learn to fight without hostility and derision, but if staying married means constantly fighting, from the point of view of your health, you're better off out of it."

Something to think about the next time you and the hubby/wifey find yourselves in a fight.

[ More marital life revelations: The myth of wedded bliss ]


Afida Anuar said...

Salam r.o.l..

Hurmm....whatever it is..for those who are still single, don't afraid to get married;)..erkk..


r.o.l. said...

W'salam, Afida.

Agreed. And the point of this post is in the first sentence of the quote.

"Being married is only good for you if it's a good marriage."

Being single is better than being in a bad marriage, especially if it's irreparable.

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