The real cost of a conflicted marriage.
The researchers calculated that around 315 extra deaths per 100,000 people per year could be caused by spousal demands and worries, they said.
Stress is known to have physical effects on health, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke while it also encourages poor habits such as eating junk food and lack of exercise which exacerbate the problem.
The researchers said men tend to respond to stress with higher levels of the hormone cortisol which is known to be linked to poor health.
Stud author, Dr Rikke Lund, Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, at University of Copenhagen, said: “Men also have fewer people in their social network than women who tend to share their problems and worries with more people.
“Their partner is more important to them in a relatively small social network.
“It is interesting that we have identified that males who are exposed to worries and demands by their partners have higher mortality and are the ones we should focus on. We tend to struggle to reach this group with public health interventions and maybe we should be focused less on the individual and more on social networks as a whole.”
The study suggested that going to work could provide relief and mitigate the effects of a stressful relationship with a partner as men who were unemployed and frequently nagged were even more likely to die.
The combined effect of frequent demands and worries from a partner and being out of work could account for an extra 462 deaths per 100,000 people per year, it was calculated.
So many people regard the state of their conflicted marriage as being of near zero consequence. It’s an irritant, to be sure, but not really worth spending their time or energy to address — much less go to counselling.
It’s a false illusion of safety…