A recent study made by the Institute for Social Research of the University of Michigan, published in The Journals of Gerontology, indicates that a bad marriage increases blood pressure. Stress in marriage also influences the health and well-being of the members and is harmful to couples with a negative relationship.
The study was conducted between 2006 to 2012 having 1,356 couples or 2,712 individuals whose age group are from middle age to older, 70% of which are married and 3% were cohabiting. The experiment centers on the chronic state of stress rather than acute because stress that is long lasting is frequently more damaging to the health. To be able to perceive stresses that may influence blood pressure, the couples were observed while interacting with their partner, rather than observing just the individual. Researchers found out that an unhappy marriage was an indicator of high blood pressure where both husband and wife admitted things aren’t well.
It was concluded that stress and relationship quality have both direct and moderating effects on the cardiovascular system and it is important to consider the dyad rather than only the individual when examining marriage and health. They gathered that wives’ stress has important implications to husbands’ blood pressure, particularly in more negative relationships. Researchers say that negative relationship quality has no effects when examining individuals, but there were effects when examining interactions between both members. It is also worth noting that husbands are more affected by their wives’ stress than vice versa. ‘There was also evidence that the effects of individuals’ own experiences of stress on systolic blood pressure varied as a function of partner stress and gender. Husbands who reported greater stress had lower blood pressure when their wives reported lower stress, whereas wives who reported greater stress had lower blood pressure when their husbands reported greater stress’, researchers report.