Studies generally agree that a happy marriage lowers stress and confers long-term health advantages. On the other hand, an unhappy or stressful relationship may be worse than living alone. This study from University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers demonstrates a link between marital discord and a tendency toward depression, as the burnt-out stress system is also less activated by positive thoughts and experiences.
Which tells us what we already knew: having as your closest partner someone who constantly stresses you out is very bad for you, while the right sort of partner reduces your stress level and increases happiness. Now we wait for the study on how to improve contentious relationships!
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“having a partner that constantly stresses you out can be bad for you”. I’m living proof of that for sure. If only I knew then what I know now, I KNEW that this relationship was/is TOXIC. For me, my kids and the grouchy, miserable husband of mine. I knew that this relationship was doomed a long time ago, but I stayed anyway-pretty sure that has been the biggest mistake of my life.
You shouldn’t beat yourself up over sticking it out — hoping and trying to make it work are admirable. But what do you do when you have children and finally realize nothing will change? A good couples counsellor may be able to help both of you break bad communications habits that cause distress. If that doesn’t work, you have to weigh the bad of staying together against the bad of breaking up a family. I hope you find your way to some improvement for all of your sakes.