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Staying in a Bad Marriage Can Be Physically UnhealthyThere is a general consensus that people who are married live happier and healthier lives than those who divorce or never marry. People who are opposed to divorce will use this concept as a reason why struggling spouses should stay married and try to mend their relationship. However, a recent study concluded that a high-conflict marriage can also be detrimental to the spouses’ health. Researchers followed 373 couples during the first 16 years of their marriages, keeping track of the level of conflict in their marriages and their general health. Husbands, in particular, had a further decline in health based on the frequency of the conflicts. There are several ways that the stress of a bad marriage can have a negative effect on your health:

  1. Depression and Anxiety: Being unhappy in your marriage will wear you down and can affect your mental health. Interacting with your spouse may make you feel anxious and depressed, which may, in turn, lead to poor decisions. Anxious thoughts may disrupt your sleeping patterns because you are unable to calm down at night.
  2. Heart Disease: Constant stress, such as from a bad marriage, can be connected to an increase in your blood pressure and cholesterol. Stress causes your body to release hormones that temporarily raise your blood pressure. However, the long-term effects may come from changes in your dietary and exercise habits. You may react to your stress by overeating and excessive smoking or drinking. The stress and depression may make you more lethargic. These factors can increase the risk of obesity and heart disease.
  3. Weakened Defenses: The frequent output of stress hormones in your body will eventually have an effect. Stress can increase your risk of diabetes because it increases your blood sugar, which may cause your body to become insulin resistant. It can weaken your immune system because your body is not able to produce as many germ-fighting cells. Finally, a study showed that people in unhappy marriages healed at a slower rate than those in happy marriages.

Deciding to Divorce

The quality of your relationship matters more for your health than being married. You can try to repair your relationship through counseling, but you may need to admit that both of you would be better off if you divorced. You can find happiness and better health after your divorce, whether it is through a new relationship or other sources of fulfillment. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can start you on the path to a healthier life. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.

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