Marriage may have its ups and downs, but according to a new study it’s worth the effort. Researchers from Cardiff University in Wales have found that marriage not only increases male and female longevity, but also tends to benefit wives mentally and husbands physically.
They theorize that men’s physical health probably improves due to their partner’s positive influence on their lifestyle, while the mental bonus for women may stem from a greater emphasis on the importance of the relationship. However, the study authors maintain that not all relationships are good for you, citing evidence that single people have better mental health than those in strained relationships. In addition, they say, true love does not always go smoothly, pointing to evidence that relationships in adolescence are linked with increased depressive symptoms.
The researchers also point out that divorce can have a devastating impact on people and that ending a relationship is distressing. In addition, they say having numerous partners is linked with a risk of earlier death.
The authors of the study conclude that people should not avoid relationships to prevent damage to health if they go wrong. Instead, they should focus on avoiding bad relationships, because the benefits of a good one outweigh the risks from unpleasant ones.