Hey, Fighting With Your Spouse is Good for You
Seriously, a recent study has indicated that spouses who have verbal fights really do have better health and are therefore less likely to die early. Early results of the study conducted at the University of Michigan show that couples who do not resolve their differences and suppress their feeling are more likely to die earlier than couples who let it all out.
The researchers over a 17 year period followed 192 couples in Michigan to arrive at their interesting findings. Couples were placed in one of four categories, namely:
Group one – both partners expressed their anger; Group two & three – at least one partner expressed feelings of anger and Group four – none of the partners expressed their anger.
Lead author of the study, Ernest Harburg noted that ‘When both spouses suppress their anger at the other when unfairly attacked, earlier death was twice as likely as in all other types.’ So the next time you feel that you were treated unfairly, don’t bottle it in – do battle, you’ll live longer.
As the experts said in their study, ‘If you bury your anger, and you brood on it, you resent the other person or the attacker, and you don’t try to resolve the problem, then you are in trouble.’ A sure way to die and the statistics backed this up. Over the period of the study, 23 percent of the couples where both partners suppressed their anger died, and 27 percent had one partner die. In plain language, there were 26 couples where both persons suppressed their anger and 13 persons died. Compare that to only 41 deaths in the remaining 166 couples where one or both partners tell it like it is.
I’m sure we have all felt that sense of relief when we say something that we have bottled up inside and resolve an issue that has been brewing. Not only does expressing our feelings make us feel better it can make the other person aware of some of the things that hurt. Communication is important in a relationship – so is fighting it would seem – just let’s do it with words.
Ok, this doesn’t mean that we should all start fights with dear husband or dearest wife, but it means we shouldn’t bottle up our feelings inside. Well, I’ve started by sharing this with my significant other – maybe it will help us both live longer, happier lives. I don’t know about you, but I figure if I can extend my life and strengthen my marriage, what’s a little ‘life-saving’ exchange of words if I feel wronged – let’s just not make it physical or set out to hurt.