Can a relationship be so toxic that it actually makes you physically sick?
Much attention has been given to the fact that marriages will often falter when one partner (especially the wife) develops a chronic illness, but it turns out that a bad marriage can actually cause someone to get sick.
When you’re in an unhappy marriage, it takes a toll on your body
A 16-year study in the United States involving more than 300 couples studied the relationship between the quality of someone’s marriage and the quality of their health. The study may have been a scientific first, but the results may not surprise anybody who has ever been in an unhappy relationship:
- Couples who often disagreed and had “high-conflict” marriages were the least healthy
- The men in these marriages often had worse health than the women (although both suffered from health problems)
This study flies in the face of previous studies that have suggested that married life is the way to go if you want to live a long, healthy life.
Indeed, a high-conflict marriage can lead to behaviors like drinking, smoking, trouble sleeping, eating problems and more – all of which can have disastrous consequences for one’s health. People in high-conflict marriages also tend to suffer from more problems with inflammation, and chronic stress levels can lead to issues with one’s immune system, heart, digestion and more.
What does this mean for you if you’re in a high-conflict marriage?
If you feel like your relationship is literally draining the life out of your body, you may be right. That’s reason enough to decide that you need to get a divorce and move on.