Research has long shown that married people are generally healthier and live longer than unmarried people. Married people are less likely to get cancer and heart attacks, and have even been shown to be at lower risk for dementia. One study found married people to be much less likely to suffer from headaches, back pain, and psychological distress. They are also more active and less likely to smoke.
But while marriage is distinctively connected to health and wellbeing on paper, recent research has shown that this doesn’t extend to troubled couples. In fact, unhealthy relationships can have negative effects that far outweigh those faced by unmarried people. A 2005 study published in “The Archives of General Psychiatry” found that couples who experienced high levels of hostility were more susceptible to illness than happier couples. It has also been shown that unhappily married couples are more likely to experience chronic illness, heart attacks and high cholesterol.