If your marriage is troubled you may hesitate to seek marriage relationship advice or you may wonder why it is important. Perhaps you and your spouse argue over whether or not you additional support for your relationship. You may ask yourself, “Doesn’t everyone have problems now and again?” Although it is true that most marriages experience ups and down, it is equally true that the quality of your marriage has a huge influence on your physical health.
Steven M Cohn, PhD, LMFT
The Portland Couples Counseling Center
1940 NE Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
Seeking marriage relationship advice can help you preserve not only your happiness now, but also your health now and into the future.
A study published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychology Bulletin(1) reviewed over 60 articles published in the last 10 years. They found that “negative dimensions of marital functioning have indirect influences on health outcomes through depression and health habits, and direct influences on cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, neurosensory, and other physiological mechanisms.” With this type of evidence staring you in the face, why wouldn’t you seek marriage relationship advice?
Further evidence of the link between marriage and health are provided in the book The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.(2) Now that sounds like something worth preserving. And preservation is generally the goal of marriage relationship advice.
Another study that points to the benefit of staying married was recently published in a journal produced by the University of California.(3) The authors found that low income women who married and stayed married had significantly lower rates of poverty and welfare assistance, particularly if they came from disadvantaged families of origin. The study goes on to show that women who marry but later divorce have poverty rates higher even than women who never marry. From this, we can infer that marriage relationship advice has a positive effect not only on your physical health but also on your economic health.
The effects of a happy marriage extend even into your retirement years. Researchers from Wayne State University and Pennsylvania State University found that marriage benefits health across a broad spectrum of fatal and nonfatal chronic disease conditions, functional problems, and disabilities.(4) Don’t you owe it to yourself and your future to see a Relationship Specialist?
It seems too easy, doesn’t it? Just get married, and all your problems go away. Unfortunately, the problems don’t go away if the marriage is unhappy. A study in the Journal of Socio-Economics seeks to answer the question: “Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?” The article points out that there are large differences in the benefits from marriage among different couples. It appears that happiness in the marriage is also required in order to experience the paybacks shown above.
And what better way to enhance your happiness than to seek marriage relationship advice when you need it? Doing so will help you preserve your marriage, enhancing your financial stability as well as your health now and into the future.
(1) Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K., Newton, T.L. Marriage and Health: His and Hers. Psychology Bulletin. 2001 Jul;127(4):472-503.
(2) Waite, L.J., Gallagher, M. “The case for marriage: why married people are happier, healthier, and better off financially” (2000) Doubleday, New York.
(3) Lichter, Daniel T., Roempke Graefe, Deborah, Brown, J. Brian. Is Marriage a Panacea? Union Formation Among Economically Disadvantaged Unwed Mothers. Social Problems February 2003, 50(1): 60 - 86
(4) Pienta, Amy Mehraban, Hayward, Mark D., Jenkins, Kristi
Rahrig. Health Consequences of Marriage for the Retirement Years.
Journal of Family Issues 2000, 21(5): 559 - 586
(5) Stutzer, Alois, Frey, Bruno S. Does Marriage Make People Happy, or
Do Happy People Get Married? Journal of Socio-Economics April 2006,
35(2): 326 – 347.
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Steven M. Cohn, PhD is honored to have been featured on CNBC.com.
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