It has long been debated whether or not getting married to live “happily ever after” is good for you. Studies are proving it has no positive impact…on women’s health, that is. Men, on the other hand, seem to receive significant benefits from long term relationships or wedded bliss.
Does Marriage Bring Better Health?
Four years ago the idea that marriage is good for your health received a boost. Researchers at Ohio State University wrapped up a 20 year study of 90 married couples and found that couples who reported low levels of stress were less prone to illness than those who had conflict-ridden marriages. The key to these results may lie in the effects of conflict on the immune system. The researchers reasoned that positive marital relations help people avoid stress, which means that marriage partners produce lower levels of the stress-related hormones, such as cortisol.
When researchers looked at whether or not husbands and wives benefitted equally from a good marriage, the answer seemed to be “no.” Married men had fewer illnesses than the wives whether the marriage was good or bad.
Fast-forward to 2015, and a new study on health and marriage finds that women still hardly benefit from tying the knot. Research by University College London, the London School of Economics and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that single women do not suffer the same negative health effects as unmarried men. In fact, middle-aged women who had never married had virtually the same chance of developing metabolic syndrome as married women. Researchers also found that not marrying or cohabiting is less detrimental among woman than men.
How Women Respond to Breakups
Love and marriage sometimes end in divorce or heartbreak, and according to a new study published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences women are more negatively affected by breakups than men, experiencing more emotional and physical pain after a split. However, women actually recover more fully than men.
Researchers surveyed 5,705 participants in 96 countries about their romantic splits—including the severity of their breakup, who initiated it, and what went wrong in the relationship. While women fared worse when it came to emotional pain, they were also more likely to do the breaking up than men—despite facing a more painful road to recovery.
Why are women more likely to pull the plug, if they’re going to end up hurt? Research points out that women take the risk because they “have so much more to lose” by being with the wrong person—at least according to evolutionary biology theory which teaches that men compete and women choose. Men are wired to gather resources and battle other men for the best female, whereas women are wired to be selective.
Be True To Yourself
Whether in a relationship, recovering from heartbreak, or relishing the single life, the most important thing you can do for your health and well-being is to be true to yourself. There has never been a better time to be a woman. Take time to truly connect with the women in your life, because connections matter. When women reach out and connect with each other, it not only helps each woman step into her own power, it changes their lives, and ultimately it can help us change the world.