How Marital Issues Can Cause Significant Health Issues

Therapist Palatine, IL

counseling in Palatine, ILA therapist Palatine, IL patients recommend knows that, according to the latest marriage and divorce statistics for 2021, show the divorce rate in the United States is still one of the highest in the world, with more than 750,000 couples ending their marriages each year. Although the divorce rate may have lowered slightly for younger couples, it continues to rise for those couples over the age of 50.

Here in Illinois, the latest statistics show that 6.6 percent of marriages end in divorce, one of the lowest rates in the country. This means out of every 1,000 Illinois residents, 6.6 of them are divorced. Compare that with Arkansas, which has a divorce rate of 17.4 percent.

Impact of a Bad Marriage

Many people do not realize just how much of an impact their relationships have on their overall physical health. Multiple studies have shown that one of the most important factors in preventing disease and other medical conditions is healthy and solid relationships. Having high-quality relationships can prevent both physical and mental issues, even more than your cholesterol level, IQ, social class, and genes.

Studies have also shown that when it comes to marital relationships, having a happy marriage has a significant impact on couples’ mental and physical health, as well as their longevity. A happily married couple who don’t have serious marital issues also tend to have a better functioning immune system, better memory and moods, less physical pain, and less cardiovascular disease than couples who are in unhappy marriages.

Whether it is a marriage or a committed relationship, having a happy one is important to your health. Having a bad relationship or marriage causes all kinds of stress. There is no ending to this stress is if the issues that are causing the unhappiness are never addressed. Instead, the spouses go home to each other every night, facing the same issues, day in and day out. The stress the marital problems cause usually increase instead of decrease when a couple can’t work through their problems.

A stressful marriage affects your brain, your heart, your nervous system, and all of your body. Your body actually begins conditioning itself to this chronic stress. This causes your nervous system to react to your partner’s behavior and perceive it as threatening. This is referred to as interpersonal stress.

Fighting and arguing all the time can also trigger the nervous system’s threat response. This impacts all of the body’s major organ systems and releases stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. While the release of the hormones can help in dealing with a partner’s stressors in the short term, the long-term damage is dangerous and includes serious health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, and immune system issues.

How Therapy Can Help

Relationships should always be evolving. When issues come up, couples need to address them before they become even deeper problems. If one partner is feeling stressed by the other partner’s behavior, it is critical for the two to sit down and work through why the partner feels that way and what the other partner can do to alleviate that stress. This type of communication should be there even in the early stages when the couple first becomes committed to each other.

However, there are many couples that have difficulty communicating with each other, whether they just never learned how or the resentment has built up so much they have lost the ability to. This is where couples therapy can be crucial in helping save the relationship, and where the couple can learn the skills they need to help the relationship endure and grow for years to come.

If you and your spouse are having difficulties, do not throw in the towel yet. Contact the Lotus Wellness Center to make an appointment with a dedicated Palatine, IL therapist and find out how we can help.