Recent research has shown that marital problems affect men and women equally, contrary to the existing myth that a poor relationship affects the wife more than the husband. Furthermore, spouses in bad marriages face greater risk for serious health problems.
This finding could mean that couples face a greater likelihood of strokes and heart disease. The study results indicate that in addition to the carryover of work stress into domestic life that has been evident for many years, there are also influences of domestic strain on biological function over the working day and evening.
"What is happening is that marital problems are spilling into the workplace, and if these tensions persist over time, there could be serious health problems." said co-author Rosalind Barnett, a senior scientist involved in the study.
In a study of 105 middle-age civil service workers in the London area, the researchers found that participants with more marital concerns reported greater stress and exhibited elevated diastolic and systolic blood pressure readings during the workday. The results were the same for men and women.
It's generally assumed that primary relationships are more critical to a women's psychological well-being than men's, but this is not the case. When there is marital concern, men and women are equally affected.
If this doesn't bother you, then you probably are not aware of the fact that stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.
The results add to the evidence that psychological factors influence biological functions in everyday life, and suggest that poor marital relationships are related to neuroendocrine and cardiovascular activation as well as to adverse psychological outcomes.