For anyone who’s been married a long time – and in some rare cases, even newlyweds – going to bed angry at your spouse might not seem like such a big deal. After a fitful night’s sleep, you wake up feeling resentful and head off to work without so much as a word to your significant other, and your day at the office is spent fuming over their shortcomings and your perceived unfairness of it all. By the time you both make it home after work, however, calmer heads have managed to prevail, and you’re both able to sit down, talk things over, and come to a peaceful resolution. So, all is well in the world again. Am I right?
Happy Marriages = Happy Hearts
Have you ever stopped to consider what those hours spent feeling enraged are doing to your health? Studies have proven time and time again that factors such as depression, anger, and resentment can be detrimental to your body and mind. Doctor’s would agree that the rare spat between married couples doesn’t pose significant health risks, and even in seemingly “perfect” marriages, issues are bound to arise that can’t be helped. But what if your week is spent feeling more hatred than love toward your spouse? Unfortunately, therein lies the problem. Health officials report that people in unhappy marriages are twice as likely to suffer with chronic ailments such as heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, especially in older people between the ages of 55 and 85.
Some Steps You Can Take
So, does it make more sense to just go your separate ways, for your health’s sake? Unless you’re in an abusive marriage (physically OR emotionally), or there are other personal matters that can’t be remedied, even through counseling, there are steps you can take to revive the spark you felt in the early stages of your marriage.
- I once saw a plaque in a gift shop that read “Never stop being your husband’s girlfriend”, and the same could also be said for maintaining your “boyfriend” status with your wife. Instead of waiting for your anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or your spouse’s birthday to do something special for them, why not surprise them with little things, like leaving a love letter inside their briefcase. (And I mean an actual hand-written letter. You do remember those, right?)
- While texting can be fun, it can also be very impersonal. Don’t rely on your phone to get your message across when you can tell them face-to-face what’s on your heart. And kissing your spouse in person is so much more fun than sending a kissy-face emote through cyberspace.
- If you’re married with children still living at home, ask a family member of hire someone at least once every other week, to babysit for you, so you and your spouse can indulge in a date night. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. (Even a mundane task, like grocery shopping, is better than nothing. Go on, hold your spouse’s hand while sorting through those fruit bins. I promise no one is looking). What’s most important is having the opportunity to spend some valuable time alone to reconnect, which is invaluable not only to a happy marriage… but also a healthy heart.