back at 8:37. this morning on "today's relationships," your marriage and your
. researchers have actually shown a direct correlation between the two. that is great if you're in a healthy relationship, but not so good if you're in a bit of a rough patch. tara, good morning to you. it has long been believed that being married keeps you healthy but current research is showing it has less to do with the institution than it does the relationship itself. right?
exactly. it is not enough just to be married. the quality of the relationship really has a
. so it is good to be married if you're in a good marriage.
if you're in a good marriage, what impact specifically does it have on your
we really have seen a lot of data on what a bad marriage does to you. so a good marriage is protective in many ways. because we see people with very stressful relationships who
levels of relationship happiness, higher rates of
, higher rates of stroke. they have more cavities, more
which is likely related to sort after depressed
problems. in so many areas your
is influenced by your marital
how can you directly attach those ailments to the
of your marriage?
well, there's been a lot of research. i think it surprises people how much
have been studied in laboratory situations and major studies by scientists. and funded by the nih. they do marital satisfaction tests to sort of see where you are in your relationship. they ask you a question like, if you had it to do over, would you marry the same person? simple question, but you'd be surprised how often people say, not so sure about that, or rate it fairly low. so we do know that these illnesses d illnesses do show up in happily
. they took couples and tested their
after having a marital dispute, after fighting with their husband or wife what happens to their
it is sort of compromised after that.
it's actually -- they injure someone's arm, and say now have a
with your spouse. they watch how quickly the wound heals. they find after a serious marital argument it can take a day or two longer for your wound to heal than if you weren't fighting.
, a man with
, he's had a serious
my question is, how much of an impact do multiple divorces have on the
of a person?
i don't think that specific issue has been studied but there is a lot of data showing that a divorce, a marital loss takes a tremendous
toll. when you compare people who have been divorced to people who are married to people who are never married, it is actually better to never marry at all than to go through a divorce. it takes an immediate short-term impact on your
. more mobility problems, more
, more physical problems. definitely mayrital loss takes a toll on your body.
what's the incentive if a marriage is bad to try to stick it out and work through that dreadful situation or to just cut ties and say, that's it, and get the divorce.
i think it depends how bad your marriage really is. most marriage researchers you speak with would all really say work on your marriage. try. if you have abuse, violence, there is no real way to stay in that relationship so you'd be better off getting out of it. but if you're in a stressful marriage, troubled marriage, a lot of evidence shows if you really work on that relationship there are ways to improve it and that's definitely better than a divorce.
there is a lot of arguing in most marriages and that causes stress. you talked about if you're in a bad argument, wounds don't heal as well as they should, but you'll never get in a situation where you aren't going to argue with your spouse. so how do you get around that?
conflict in a relationship is inevitable. it is probably good because it shows you are trying to work things out and make things better. what's important is that you learn to
fairly. research shows that a lack of warmth in a
with your husband really is predictive, these
were at three times higher risk than
if their husband just wasn't nice during an argument. if your husband's saying, "sweetheart, please sissen to me," those
terms of endearment
make a real difference. the lesson is just be nice. you're anger when you
but just try to throw in a few sort of moments of warmth. this is a person you lover and you don't want to do something that's harmful to their
thank you so much
. "for better, the science of a good marriage."
up next, how to win